By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—The Federal Government and African Development Bank, AfDB, yesterday, launched a comprehensive $258 million multi-sectoral intervention fund for North East rehabilitation programme.
The programme, tagged “Inclusive Basic Service Delivery Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Programme,” is aimed at bolstering rehabilitation efforts in the region.
The event, which was launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at AfDB premises, was attended by governors of five North-East states, ministers, development partners and key stakeholders.
In his address, Osinbajo described it as a landmark intervention in support of the region, which had suffered devastation from insurgency.
He said: “It has been gratifying to note how enthusiastically our friends and partners have rallied to our support, mobilising resources to tackle the crisis in the North-East.
‘’We would like to express the profound appreciation of the Federal Government to the bank for being a partner in progress with us. When the story of the region’s recovery is told, the work of African Development Bank will occupy a well-merited and prominent chapter.”
According to him, governments of North East states will implement the bank’s US$258 million programme, with Federal Government’s support.
In his address, President of AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, who was represented at the programme by the bank’s Senior Director in Nigeria, Ebrima Faal, highlighted the programme’s emphasis on inclusivity.
Adesina said: “It incorporates special gender considerations by ensuring that women are active participants in all stages of the project and providing training for women and youth entrepreneurs to increase their chances for employment and business opportunities.
Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative, Theophilus Danjuma, in his remarks, pointed out that “given the growing traffic of displaced persons back to their home communities, the provision of essential services and job creation in safe locations will play a huge role in ensuring the sustainability of post-crisis recovery.”