ACReSAL Project Inauguration in FCT, in a significant step towards addressing the challenges of land degradation and climate change in Northern Nigeria, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has inaugurated Local Government Implementation Committees (LGICs) for the six Area Councils of the FCT.
The ACReSAL Project, supported by the World Bank, aims to promote sustainable development and community empowerment through interventions in projects that will effectively address the challenges of land degradation and climate change in Northern Nigeria.
The inauguration ceremony, held at the Rockview Hotel Abuja on Friday, November 17, 2023, was attended by the Secretary of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Lawan Kolo Geidam, who also serves as Chairman of the Technical Committee of the ACReSAL Project in FCT. The National Project Coordinator (NPC) of ACReSAL, Mr Abdulhamid Umar, and the Chairmen of the six Area Councils of FCT were also present to witness this pivotal moment.
In his inaugural address, Secretary Geidam lauded the ACReSAL Project as a “laudable initiative” and expressed the FCT’s immense gratitude for being part of the project. He emphasized the project’s potential to address the pressing environmental issues affecting the agricultural sector, particularly in rural communities whose livelihoods depend on it.
Geidam urged the Chairmen of the six Area Councils, whose communities are the direct beneficiaries of the project, to view it as a prime opportunity to enhance the living standards of their populace. He underscored the importance of fostering a sense of ownership and encouraging community participation in the project’s implementation.
Outlining the LGICs’ responsibilities, Geidam explained that they would play a crucial role in overseeing the project at the local government level. He stated that the committees would be responsible for:
- Fostering a sense of ownership and encouraging community participation in aspects of the project being implemented at community and household levels.
- Serving as a liaison between the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) and the Secretariat, Departments and Agencies (SDAs).
- Providing support to stakeholder analysis and identification for implementation activities.
Geidam also disclosed the composition of the LGICs, which would include the following members:
- Chairmen of the Area Councils, who will chair the Committees in their respective Area Councils
- Representatives of traditional institutions
- Heads of Departments of Works, Agriculture, and Environment
- Facilitators who are subject specialists
- Relevant non-governmental organizations
Addressing the attendees, the project’s National Coordinator, Mr Abdulhamid Umar, highlighted the ACReSAL Project’s potential to reduce the vulnerability of millions of extremely poor people in Northern Nigeria. He reaffirmed the Federal Project Implementation Unit’s (FPMU) commitment to providing guidance and support to participating states to ensure the project’s success.
Umar revealed that a $700 million loan had been secured from the World Bank in 2021 for the ACReSAL Project, and it became operational in 2022. He emphasized that accessing the funds required states to contribute their counterpart funding. In this regard, he commended the FCT for its initial contribution of N334 million and encouraged it to settle the balance to reach the minimum required contribution of N500 million.
Emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and effective project implementation, the Project Coordinator for FCT ACReSAL, Mrs Caroline Opara, stressed the critical role of the LGICs in promoting inclusivity and ensuring that the project’s benefits reach all members of the community.
The ACReSAL Project Inauguration in FCT of the LGICs marks a significant step forward in the implementation of the ACReSAL Project in the FCT. By fostering community ownership and participation, the LGICs will play a vital role in ensuring the project’s success in addressing the challenges of land degradation and climate change, promoting sustainable development, and enhancing the resilience of communities in Northern Nigeria.
According to the World Bank, the ACReSAL Project is a crucial initiative aimed at addressing the complex issues of land degradation