GLORIA EZEIRU Business
The FADAMA III Project has funded over 2,600 subprojects to the tune of over N1.2 billion in the south-east zone of the country, the World Bank has said.
The bank explained that out of this number of projects, about 260 have been completed, while the rest were at various levels of completion.
World Bank team leader, Obadiah Tohomdet, in a statement issued in Abuja, noted that these facts were contained in the various status reports presented by the five project implementation units (PIUs) in the zone.
The team was on a 3-day mission in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital to ascertain implementation reports from the State Fadama Offices as well as visit some subproject sites in the state.
The mission also noted that over 683 Fadama Community Associations (FCAs) and 7,712 Fadama Users Groups (FUGs) were already benefitting.
Some of funded subprojects, according to the reports, include; Rural roads, culverts, markets, storage cold rooms, poultries, cassava processing mills, palm oil processing mills, fish ponds, piggeries, rice mills among others.
Reacting to the reports, the team leader, noted that what was happening in the zone was encouraging, urging beneficiaries in the zone to maximise the benefits of the project.
Tohomdet added that the World Bank had already made available $250million , while the federal, state, local governments and the primary beneficiaries were providing the balance of $200million of the total $450million package for the entire project.
Meanwhile, Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, while exchanging views with the team in his office, said aside from Fadama III Project, there were other development partners-sponsored projects for which government had not been regular in meeting its obligation.
Elechi, however, noted that the state government was in the process of streamlining her activities in order to meet the needs of the people, but was not specific on whether these projects would continue to benefit from government’s counterpart funding.
“The state government would review her further participation in the project, and come up with proposals which would be forwarded to the World Bank for possible consideration,” he said.
Responding, the team leader recalled that the State was in arrears of 2010 and 2011 counterpart funds, the Team Leader appealed to the Governor to offset all outstanding counterpart funds, more so where Fadama III Project concept tallied with the major priorities of the state.