APPEALS 8TH ISM: C’RIVER GOV’T PRIDES ON CR-APPEALS REMARKABLE FEATS
By Kingsley Agim
The Cross River State Government has expressed a great sense of pride on the remarkable strides of the State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (CR-APPEALS) Project through their World Bank-assisted agro-based value chains interventions in the State.
Speaking while flagging off the 8th Implementation Support Mission (ISM) of the APPEALS Project, yesterday, in in Calabar, the Chairman of Project’s State Steering Committee and Deputy Governor of the State, Prof. Ivara Esu said: “After the last ISM, a lot has been achieved. We are very proud today, looking at the great feats recorded by the APPEALS Project in the State.”
Prof. Esu, who was represented by the State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr. Inyang Asibong, stated that the exhibition stand at the event is an eloquent testimony to the success story and life-changing opportunities the CR-APPEALS Project, with the support of the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria, has afforded indigenes of the State. He also expressed delight in the excellent progress made in almost all the value chains of cocoa, poultry, rice, as well as cassava and aquaculture.
The SSC Chairman averred that apart from the rich array of products on display at the exhibition center, the availability of a mini library which is stocked with newsletters, pamphlets, standard procedure manual in the manufacturing and processing industry in the State, offers stakeholders, participants and guests a comprehensive overview of the Project’s achievements, as well as record of value chains in Cross River State.
He also informed participants that Cross River remains the only State among the APPEALS Project States in Nigeria to have a poultry cluster of over forty thousand (40,000) birds are being nursed to enhance the poultry value chain.
“As we gather in this mission to review our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, success stories, as well as progress report, the Cross River State Government is very appreciative of the World Bank’s massive support for the agricultural revolution in the State,” Prof Esu concluded.
Speaking on the Mission Objectives, the World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL), Dr. Tunji Oredipe called on the CR-APPEALS team to step up on the gas peddle in the utilization of available funds for effective projection implementation in the State.
Dr. Oredipe, represented by the World Bank’s Senior Social Development Specialist, Prof. Oluleayode Taiwo, also stressed on the importance of documentation of all transactions made, as accountability remains the Bank’s core.
Highlighting CR-APPEALS’s identification of 197 value chains, training of 610 farmers, women and youths of about 1700 out of which 98 people are those with disabilities and special needs, as beneficiaries of project; the TTL was happy that the benefiting population captured the ‘social inclusiveness’ emphasis of the project.
Expressing the World Bank’s readiness to continuously support the various State Project Coordinating Units, Dr. Oredipe urged CR-APPEALS to use the mission’s opportunity to put forward its challenges in order for them to be addressed by the various project stakeholders.
In his keynote address, the National Project Coordinator, Mr. Mohammed Jobdi, who posited that the essence of the biannual mission was to review the implementation status of the project in various states, also lauded CR-APPEALS for the ‘appreciable progress’ made so far in the different value chains, women and youths, infrastructure, and other components of the project.
He also appreciated the enabling environment created by the Cross River State Government, ably led by Prof. Ben Ayade, for the APPEALS Project to thrive, while hoping that in fifteen months time when the project will be winding down, CR-APPEALS shall finish strong and stand as one of the best in project implementation.
The National Project Coordinator added that the significant achievements recorded by the Project in the State, Cross River sits proudly on the radar among Nigerian states as one which had adopted and made tangible contributions to the Federal Government’s policy thrust agriculture.
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Coordinator, CR-APPEALS, Dr. Marcel Agim commended the World Bank and the National Project Coordination Office for the tireless efforts to see that the Project remained in shape.
He stated that the APPEALS Project has created tremendous impact in Cross River, noting that implementation is moving in rapid speed in every facet of the Project in the State.
He thanked the State Governor and his Deputy, and all stakeholders for their efforts towards the success of the APPEALS Project in the State, pointing out that testimonies from beneficiaries and the beautiful assemblage of the various value chains at the exhibition ground lend credence to the great work going on and the Project interventions’ ripple effects on the people.
The 8th Implementation Support Mission which started yesterday, 22 June at 9am will close on the 24 June, 2022.