The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, uhas expressed optimism that the evidence based achievements of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) has attracted government’s consideration of transmuting the project into an Agency.
According to him, turning the project into an Agency at both the Federal and State Level would ensure sustainability, especially in watershed management.
He made this remark at the Joint Meeting of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), World Bank (WB) and NEWMAP States Steering Committee Chairmen (States Honorable Commissioners of Environment) at the closing ceremony of NEWMAP.
In his speech, the Minister highlighted NEWMAP’s achievements its project effectiveness and thanked the Federal Ministry of Finance and the World Bank for their support towards the project as well as in actualizing plans for NEWMAP II which would focus on reversing landscape and livelihood degradation, in arid and semi-arid zones of the country.
He said, “As at December 2019, NEWMAP as a flagship project of the Ministry, has reclaimed 1,722.41 hectares of degraded lands with reduction in loss of lives and infrastructure, a phenomenon that earned the project many awards on sustainable land management at local and international levels”.
He further lauded the Project Staff and National Project Coordinator of NEWMAP, Dr. Salisu Dahiru for the implementation success, project delivery, team work and leadership qualities which is obvious with the level of results recorded by the Project.
The World Bank Country Director, represented by Dr. Amos Abu, Senior Environment and Natural Resources Specialist, (World Bank Country Office, Nigeria) and NEWMAP Task Team Leader (1) reiterated the need to ensure effective exit strategy on NEWMAP and the actualization of proposed NEWMAP 11.
He therefore thanked the Minister for his continued support and also appealed for Federal Government’s continuous collaboration to ensure project sustainability.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Bakari Wadinga who was represented by NEWMAP National Project Coordinator, Dr.Salisu Dahiru, advised Commissioners of participating States to adhere strictly to project institutional arrangements while look at the option of non-cost extension to enable speedy completion of awarded sites and related studies.
National Communication Specialist,