Gov Mutfwang Launches ACReSAL Project for the Benefit of the People …Says Plateau’ll Maximize Opportunities in World Bank

Plateau State Governor, Barr. Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang has launched the World Bank-supported Agro-Climatic Resilience Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project in Plateau State with a renewed pledge to ensure value for money on all projects and programs being executed in the state.

Governor Mutfwang stated this on Thursday during the official flag-off of the project at Crispan Hotel, Jos.

The Governor promised to complete all World Bank projects in the state irrespective of where they are sited in line with his administration’s resolve to positively make a difference in the living conditions of the people.

He said “I wish to appeal to the coordinators of these projects to ensure that we get value for money wherever these projects are sited. The (ACReSAL) project is about refilling the land to make it serve mankind.
“Without water, we cannot survive, therefore, we will ensure that water is appropriately channelled to places where there is no water so that we can have water to drink and for irrigation.

There will be synergy between government ministries to ensure the proper delivery of these projects.”
Governor Mutfwang expressed optimism that when the projects are completed, they will also generate employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the state.

He appreciated the World Bank for financing the projects even though it is a loan that would be paid back and advised the Project Coordinators to make good use of the resources at their disposal to execute projects that will stand the test of time.

The Governor also applauded the World Bank for financing projects that have improved the nutrition of children and assisting the girl child in the state to realize their dreams in life.

He explained that the social register of the poorest of the poor in the state would be revisited to capture people from rural communities who truly and genuinely deserve the government’s assistance.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chadhuri expressed the Bank’s readiness to support Plateau State Government in financing projects that will have positive impact on the people.
He said the World Bank is willing to make life better for Nigerian citizens and to make the country more resilient in addressing issues of climate change, insecurity, land degradation, and water scarcity among others.

Speaking further, Prof. Chadhuri stated that World Bank is in Nigeria to support in eliminating extreme poverty for improved welfare for the people. He added that part of the support includes ensuring that communities all over the country become more resilient in dealing with the challenges posed by climate change

The Gbong Gwom Jos, Da. Jacob Gyang Buba in his address called for more collaboration between the government, Traditional rulers and citizens in addressing environmental issues that affect the state.

He said there is need for synergy between the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Land and Survey and the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) in tackling the issues of environmental degradation in the state.

Providing a contextual information on the project, Dr. Joy I. Agene, the Task Team Leader of the ACReSAL Project and Senior Environmental Specialist-World Bank disclosed that Nigeria has a unique situation in terms of climate change, “while we have excess water in the south, we have issues of water scarcity in the north. The ACReSAL project was conceived to help build resilience of communities to the challenges of climate change.

She noted that the main objective of the ACReSAL Project is to increase the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in targeted watersheds in northern Nigeria and strengthen Nigeria’s long-term enabling environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management.

She explained that the objective of the project could be achieved through the four-way components of the project; the first component (Component A) is dry land management and in this component the project will work at strategic levels, develop catchment management plans and also reclaim degraded lands, control erosion, look into oasis restoration, restoration of parts and improving their services.

On the second component (Component B )of the project, the activities will focus on working at the community level, bringing people together in a participatory manner to work with their plans, train them, improve their livelihoods, build their capacity and resilience to ensure that they can respond to ACReSAL objectives and be able to manage their natural resources/environment.

The third component (Component C) very key is around institutional strengthening, improving infrastructure and bringing in innovative technology that can help the project function efficiently. According to Dr. Joy, in this component the project requires the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) Environment, Water Resources, Agriculture and others MDAs to come up with policies that can help in addressing the root causes of the climate changes issues in the communities.

She highlighted that there is something critical with the component A of the project which is around ecosystem restoration, here the project support parks, wetlands such as Nguru wetland, forest management and also protected area and these are some of the activities of the project when it comes to dryland management.

In his opening Remarks, the National Project Coordinator (NPC) of the ACReSAL Project, Mr. Abdulhamid Umar, commended the Governor for hosting ACReSAL team of about 250 officers in Plateau for over 10 day.

He informed that ACReSAL is a multi-sectoral and mixed breed project that the World Bank is so excited about because it is usually difficult to bring three independent ministries to work together and the collaboration so far has been exceptional.

He recounted that ACReSAL seeks to address issues around climate change which are natural and man made. He mentioned that what is paramount about the project across the 19 participating states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is that ACReSAL addresses and touches the last man in the rural communities.

The NPC thanked the governor for supporting ACReSAL and other developmental strides that address issues surrounding environment, food insecurity, land degradation and livelihoods of the people of Plateau. He appealed to him to give ACReSAL priority place in his developmental agenda noting that the project is available to help him actualize most of his people-oriented goals in the state.

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