By VOXPRA

Investment by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) in Nigeria’s agricultural sector since 1978 has hit $23.2billion.

IFAD Country Director Ms Dede Ekoue who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a 3-day Financial Management and Procurement Workshop for the Federal government IFAD projects said the donor agency has provided $23.2b in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 518 million people.

She disclosed that IFAD also currently fund two major projects in the country including the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) in the central part of Nigeria and the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Program (LIFE-ND) in the Niger Delta region as well as the Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Program (CASP) in the North to the tune of $459million.

Ekoue stated that the Special Agro-Industrial Processing zone (SAPZ) to be implemented in Kano and Ogun state will soon commence.

She stressed that the aim of the workshop was to further scale up the impact of the project on smallholder farmers through improving procurement and financial management practices in the implementation of the two major projects under the FGN/IFAD Cooperation that is VCDP and Life-ND.

She stated that the workshop would further boost participants’ knowledge of financial management, and improve the timely development of project procurement adding that an action plan to enhance projects’ financial management will also be developed in line with recommendations of supervision and support mission.

The Director Project Coordination Unit (PCU) Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Engr Ularamu Ubandoma noted that the IFAD-supported projects have massively contributed to improving the livelihood of the rural population in the country.

He added that to enhance the achievement of the developmental objective of the projects while keeping in mind ‘Value for money, it was essential to develop game-changing strategies for deep transformations of procurement and financial management of all FG/IFAD projects in the country.
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