ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, has approved the immediate release of sixty million naira counterpart fund for the World Bank-assisted Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES). This is to boost productivity in the state.
The State Project Coordinator, Dr. Ifeyinwa Nnajieze, also commended the Governor’s determination to grow the state’s economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion, eradicate poverty, scale up agro-allied activities and engage women and youths in the livestock value chain.
Disclosing the development, Ifeyinwa expressed delight over what she described as the governor’s “innovative and deliberate policy” targeted at achieving food sufficiency, balanced diet and exports of agro-allied produce in the state.
She said the six-year project which commenced in 2022 would not only be domesticated in the state but would continue to receive attention and support from the governor in order to ensure that the vision and mission of the administration to turn the economy around, empower livestock farmers and create jobs were achieved.
“This project is just a step away from achieving our mandate. If you look at the programmes of the governor, and the way he has been unpacking them, you will understand the L-PRES is an important part of the projects that will scale up production, train farmers, encourage modern livestock farming methods, and complement other critical subsectors of the economy.
“The governor is talking about achieving a zero percent poverty headcount through disruption of the status quo, and to us, this is not a joke. It is achievable with the right policies. Today, we are seeing the right policies across different spectrums of the economy. The value chain in production has had a far reaching effect on the standard of living of the people. The payment of the counterpart fund would enable us partner with the World Bank to fight hunger and malnutrition, and produce in large scale,” she noted.
Furthermore, Dr. Nnajieze explained that the L-PRES was a World Bank/Nigeria initiative which sought to improve the performance and sustainability of livestock production, value addition by the deployment of productive infrastructure and technological interventions along the livestock value chain.
“The proposed project will support government’s new policy thrust and boost newly developed state priorities by enhancing livestock productivity, creating the right environment for the attraction of youths and the private sector players into livestock farming.
“There are huge opportunities which members of the public, particularly, investors, can consider in this sector. The state is open for business, having enabled the right and appropriate environment and derisked investment flow with the right framework and attractive incentives.
“The programme potentially guarantees capacity building among relevant administrators and also initiates an effective crisis management system for the livestock subsector,” she further added.
It would be recalled that Governor Mbah had committed two hundred and seventy four million naira as its counterpart fund payment to the state’s International Fund for Agricultural Development/Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD/VCDP) and the sum of four hundred and fifty million naira counterpart fund for the Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP) both in August, all geared towards boosting food security.