The Federal Government in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), on Thursday inaugurated a 256 million dollars Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Project (IBSIP) in the region.
The President of AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said at the inauguration in Abuja that the intervention project would focus on agriculture, water and sanitation.
Adesina, represented by a Senior Director in the bank, Mr Ebrima Faal, explained that the project had five states, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe as beneficiaries.
The AfDB president said that the states which were the borrowers of the loan provided by AfDB, would provide empowerment for women and the youth.
He said that 55 per cent of the beneficiaries would be women and young people in the troubled North Eastern part of the country.
According to him, the project will touch the lives of millions of people and it has initial five years period of implementation.
He noted that the bank had an ongoing project aimed at improving access to water supply and sanitation.
“The IBSIP seeks to curb fragility aggravated by the insurgency in the North East and the programme is fully aligned with four of five priority areas of the bank known as the bank’s “High 5s’’.
“The High 5s are Light and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality lives of Africans.
“We developed this programme in response to the Federal Government’s plans for the North East by appealing to development partners to contribute to the recovery and rebuilding the crisis affected states.
“AfDB is financing the inclusive Basic Services Programme and the five state governments of the North East are the borrowers.
“This project is a good example of effective partnership between the government of Nigeria and the development partners and this programme is fortunate to have had strong and dedicated teams to drive it to a successful conclusion.
“The bank has remained a strong partner of the Federal Government and state Governments in their efforts to restore livelihoods in the North East,’’ he said.
The president said that this intervention would improve the quality of life of the people in the affected states through restoration of basic services.
He added that the programme would ensure equity by providing access to basic services for all as well as incorporate special gender considerations by ensuring women were active participants in all stages.
According to him, training will be provided for women and youth entrepreneurs to increase their chances for employment and business opportunities.
He said that the project would address rural electrification as included integrated energy systems for pumping of water, lighting for institutions and community centres and would also provide cold chains in health units and energy for drip irrigation.
“I can assure you that the bank in close collaboration with World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the UN system and other development partners are well prepared to support the implementation of the project.’’
In his remarks, the Vice Chairman, Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), Alhaji Tijjani Tumsah said the programme was in alignment with the present government’s programme known as “Buhari’s plan’’.
Tumsah Thanked the AfDB for the support and pledged the PCNI’s commitment to the successful implementation of the projects.