NDDC Inaugurates Technical Committee for IFAD Agric Programme
L-R: The National Project Coordinator for LIFE-ND programme, Engr.Abiodun Sanni; the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, the Director Project Coordinating Unit, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Bassey Unaowo and the NDDC Director Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Doodei Week, during the inauguration of the Technical Support Committee for the LIFE-ND programme at the NDDC new headquarters in Port Harcourt.
The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission,
Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, says that the
Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Programme in the Niger Delta,
LIFE-ND, a partnership between the Commission and the International Fund for
Agricultural Development, IFAD, will help to bring people back to agriculture.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Technical Support Committee for the LIFE-ND
programme at the NDDC new headquarters in Port Harcourt, Prof Pondei said
the goal of the programme was to transform the rural economy of the Niger Delta
region and improve the livelihood of the citizens.
said that it was necessary to activate the relevant committees, involving the
IFAD, the Federal
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and NDDC, to
provide all the necessary support required for the successful implementation of
the LIFE-ND programme.
NDDC Chief Executive Officer lamented that while the programmes had progressed
appreciably in other parts of the country, it had not done so well in the Niger
Delta region because of funding challenges. He, however, remarked that the
challenges were gradually being overcome as the programme had taken off in six
states of the region.
In his own remarks, the NDDC Director Agriculture and
Fisheries, Mr Doodei Week, said that the focus on agriculture would help to
diversify the resource base of the country and reduce the dependence on oil and
gas in the Niger Delta.
He said that the Technical Support Committee of the
LIFE-ND programme was the second-tier of the project implementation, noting
that it had a financing agreement which mandates the committee to periodically
review the progress of the programme and ensure that it was line with the
The director said: “We are happy that so far, the
project is subsisting after being launched over one year ago. Six states of
Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Ondo have already kicked off.
Incubators and incubates have been selected and the national office, funded by
NDDC, is already operational.”
He said that the partnership between IFAD and the NDDC
would enhance the opportunities of youths and women and also alleviate poverty
in the Niger Delta region by creating employment opportunities that would
meaningfully engage the youths and women.
The National Project Coordinator for LIFE-ND
programme, Engr.Abiodun Sanni, emphasized that it would enhance the income,
food security and job creation for rural youths and women through agricultural
enterprise development on a sustainable basis in the Niger Delta.
Engr. Sanni said that the implementation would be
facilitated by different committees, including the National Steering Committee,
Technical Support Committee and State Project Site
Sanni said the LIFE-ND programme would
enhance the income, food security and job creation for rural youths and women
through agricultural enterprise development on a sustainable basis in the Niger
speaking, a representative of the Director Project Coordinating Unit, Federal
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Bassey Unaowo, said that
LIFE-ND was planned with a financing gap of six years, adding that it had both
a first phase of six years, with parallel finance from NDDC and an additional
six years to be financed by other partners and additional IFAD loan.
regretted that the LIFE-ND programme had been slowed down in the Niger Delta
because of funding challenges.
Charles Obi Odili
November 14, 2020.