News Column

Govt to Get U.S.$508 Million Loan to Execute Erosion Projects

September 1, 2014

Mr Chikelo Nwune, National Coordinator, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) said International Development Association (IDA) would support Nigeria with 508.59 million Dollars (about N82.3 billion) loan for its erosion control projects.

Nwune, who made this known at a news briefing on Monday in Abuja, said that the projects would be funded in eight years under the loan arrangement otherwise known as "Strategic Investment Loan (SIL)".

He said that the first phase of the projects would target gully sites in seven states in the country and listed the states as Edo, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River, Enugu and Imo.

"The loan consists of 500 million dollars from the International Development Association (IDA) concessional loan blended with Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) grant totaling 8.59 million dollars.

"The government of Nigeria's contribution would amount to approximately 150 million dollars.

"This amount comprises of a Federal cash contribution of 70 million dollars and in-kind contribution of 24 million dollars for staff, office cost and payment of cash compensation for resettled people.

"Also, the amount will comprise an in-kind contribution by each state of approximately 8 million dollars, totaling 56 million dollars for staff and office costs and pre-feasibility designs of intervention sites," he said.

He explained that contribution by the states to the financing of the project was an agreed criterion for project participation.

Nwune added that additional funds of 150 million dollars would come as counterpart funding from the Federal Government and the participating states, saying that the funds could be in cash or kind.

He said that work on the projects would follow due process of awarding contracts and that work would commence on them in October.

The Coordinator also said that 17 states had indicated interest to participate in the NEWMAP project, and assured that more states would be added to the current benefiting ones when the project would be fully on stream.

"The project has been designed to be carried out in four components to address aggressive gully and other environmental degradations in the participating states.

"Component one is targeted at environmental education to sensitise people on environmental land degradation and for them to use available resources to further control deterioration while enhancing their livelihood.

"The component two seeks to build the capacity of relevant Ministries, Department and Agency (MDAs) to address the problem, while the third component would focus on development of renewable energy.

"The fourth component is the project management - Managing Information System (MIS), and the impact evaluation process," he said.

According to him, more than 17 MDAs are to partner the Federal Ministry of Environment to implement the project.

Nwune further stated that the projects were designed to lead between 2.5 million and three million people out poverty by 2020.

He said, "2. 2 million people are targeted and will gradually reach 2.6 million by the closing of the project in 2020 and about 4.2 million by 2042, being 30 years after the project effectiveness.

"The benefits of the project will accrue to majority of the population indirectly and will relate to reconnected transport corridors, reduced downstream siltation, support for improved storm water planning and reduced flooding.

"Other benefits are improved disaster risk preparedness and enhanced agricultural productivity," he said.

He stated that sustainability of the investment would be reinforced by strengthening institutions and information services across sectors and states.

According to Nwune, all that will include support to improved governance, regulatory compliance, environmental monitoring, impact evaluation, watershed and land-use planning.

"By doing so, the project will raise awareness and capacity to promote long-term climate resilient low carbon development," he said.

NAN reports that NEWMAP is part of President Goodluck Jonathan's agenda to reduce vulnerability of soil erosion in the country, especially in the South East.


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Source: AllAfrica

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