• Monday, April 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Edun seeks extension of IFAD projects in Nigeria

FG launches platform to monitor import duty exemptions

…says govt working to pay outstanding liabilities

Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, has sought extensions of projects by the International Food Agricultural Development (IFAD) to enable the government to achieve its objectives on food security.

The minister appealed during a courtesy visit by the delegation of IFAD, led by Associate Vice President, D. Brown, on Friday in Abuja.

The minister, who was represented by Lydia Jafiya the Permanent Secretary Finance, Federal Ministry of Finance, stressed the Government’s cordial relationship and synergy with the IFAD to create avenues in capacity building and prudent management of financial engagement and commended the laudable programmes initiated by the IFAD, saying “it has achieved lots in Nigeria”.

Edun noted that the organisation had been engaging with the government and private sectors on the way forward in food security, adding that the federal government believes in public-private partnerships (PPP), which will go a long way in achieving the objectives of the project.

The minister decried the challenges that emanated as a result of a delay in the timely release of counterpart fundings from the State Governments, poor salary and outstanding payment for IFAD’s replenishment, which he noted, had hampered the smooth running of some projects.

He, however, stated that the Government was working seriously on the liabilities and obligation, pointing out that approval had been made, noting that only the procedure for the payment still made it pending.

He stated that IFAD is a global institution that caters to the poor; hence, he would not take the visit for granted, adding that IFAD has a greater role to play globally.

George Stanley, director, International Economic Relations, Federal Ministry of Finance, hinted that the Ministry has a robust engagement as well as good working relationship that has been built over time with the IFAD and assured that the Ministry had mapped out strategies to adequately address the challenges.

Earlier, IFAD Associate Vice President expressed satisfaction with the federal government’s reforms, especially the recent declaration of an emergency on food security by President Bola Tinubu. While pledging their support, he promised to support the federal government in all its policies and programmes.

He added that Nigeria is one of the leading countries in Africa, not only in leadership positions but also in economic growth. He noted that the organisation was working with the federal government to design a new project for climate change and value chain.

Brown stated that IFAD was working to address the challenges in the Niger Delta Region and the flagship programmes in the North-Central of the country.