Nigeria moves to restore Lakechad Basin through Agriculture

The Nigerian Government says it is focusing on restoring the receding Lakechad through Agriculture.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social development, Sadiya Umar- Farouq disclosed this in Abuja, Nigeria at the launch of the Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project, MCRP-Additional Financing.

The Minister stated that the issue of the receding of the Lake Chad was very critical hence the need for Nigeria to focus most of its attention owning to the number of lives that depend on the region for their livelihood.

She said that “the emphasis of improving an agricultural value chain places an important part of the role of the strategy to move the region further along the part of sustainable development.

“We intend as government to provide the enabling environment for the people and to take advantage of the large amount of fertile and available land, not just to feed themselves but also neighbouring States across the country,” she stated.

Umar- Farouq said that “the MCRP additional funding presents another opportunity for Nigeria to further solidify the progress made and to do more.

According to her, it will also ensure that citizens in need across the 3 participating States Borno, Adamawa and Yobe can recover their livelihood, have access to quality healthcare and education, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as improved engagement with elected leadership.

Nigeria’s inclusion in the regional Project for the lake Chad Basin, joining her neighbours of Cameroon Niger and Chad reflects the importance of information sharing, regular dialogue and synergy towards achieving the objective.

The Managing Director of the North-east Development Commission, Mohammed Alkali explained that the additional focus on the agriculture value chain improvement in the next phase of the project complements the plans by the commission to revitalise agriculture beyond the subsistence level.

He said the Commission would ensure that it takes agriculture to a greater level of mechanisation resulting in improved productivity, more opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and addressing the food security challenges in the region.

Alkali said; “To spur the efforts in repositioning the north east for recovery and sustainable long-term development, the Commission has been working on the North-East Development and Stabilisation Master Plan.

This takes into consideration the various projects and plans already on-going, of which the MCRP plays a big part.

It is our hope that when completed, this and other projects will have a bigger springboard for greater impact in the North-East.

“We are equally enthusiastic about the inclusion of Nigeria, through the MCRP in the World Bank regional project for Lake Chad (PROLAC), Many of the problems faced in the North East are similarly felt in neighboring areas of Cameroon, Chad and Niger,” he stressed.

Alkali added that strong collaboration in planning for recovery and sharing of information was an essential requirement in addressing the collective challenges occasioned by insurgency.

For its part, the World Bank called for sustainability in meeting the objective of the Project.

Represented by Co-Task Team Lead, Serena Cavicchi, the World Bank said that the Bank would continue to support the Nigerian Government through the North East Development Commission to help in the recovery of the region.

The Multi-Sectoral Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project was originally implemented in 2017 to run through May, 2021
However, in October 2019, the Nigerian Government requested to be included in the World Bank regional programme being supported, in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, by the Lake Chad Region Recovery and Development Project (PROLAC).

This move approved by the World Bank Board in May 2020, extended the project through May 2024 with a budget of US$176 million for MCRP, to bring Nigeria into the regional programme.

Mercy Chukwudiebere
Nigeria moves to restore Lakechad Basin through Agriculture

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