A joint  World  Bank  (WB), Federal Government of Nigeria and Food  and Agriculture Organization  (FAO)  of the United  Nations  Mission to the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) commenced   from  March  14 2019.  The Mission which is still ongoing will round up by 29th March 2019.

The Mission  led by Maria  Sarraf  (Practice  Manager  and Abdelaziz  Lagnaoui (Lead Environmental   Specialist),   co-led by Amos Abu (Task Team  Leader)  and Grant Milne (Co-Team  Leader)  included  a joint  team from the WB, FGN (NEWMAP –led by National Coordinator Salisu Dahiru)  and the FAO. Within the mission period, the Team met in Abuja with key Government   Ministries   and Agencies.   The objectives of the mission was to:

  1. a) Follow-up   on the   signing   of Financial   Agreement    and effectiveness    of the Additional Financing for NEWMAP;
  2. b) Follow-up    on   the   proposed    World   Bank-European     Investment    Bank   Co• Financing of NEWMAP-AF;
  3. c) Work with the Project   Management   Units   to prepare   an accelerated   project implementation   plan;
  4. d) Review implementation   progress for each component,   as well as the catchment management   aspects of the project;
  5. e) Review the fiduciary/safeguards aspects and overall implementation   risks;
  6. f) Visit some  of  the  project   sites  and  meet  with  project   stakeholders,   including government  and community  representatives,   and;
  7. g) Follow-up on pending issues and the agreed actions from previous missions.

As part of the itinerary of the Mission the World Bank Practice Manager met with critical stakeholders’ Ministry, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) as well as the Hon Minister Federal Ministry of Environment Surv. Suleiman Hassan.  In addition, she was at the exhibition of NEWMAP approach to degraded sites intervention and success story tagged NEWMAP RESULTS’ MARKETPLACE held at the Ladi Kwali Hall Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Friday 15th March 2019.

Maria Sarraf expressed satisfaction with the progress recorded by the project in the control of gully erosion and land degradation   by NEWMAP participating states, evidently showcased at the Market place. Earlier, Salisu Dahiru, the National Project Coordinator, NEWMAP had welcomed participants with the roll-out of significant implementation results achieved, from inception over the years  by the project, in the various sites and areas of intervention. The Task Team Leader Dr. Amos Abu acknowledged the hard work and commitment of NEWMAP project Teams from the Federal across the 20 participating states. He said NEWMAP as a reality-check programme which has made positive contributions in the lives of the people through its numerous interventions. ” what speak for us, is the results: the difference we are making in the lives of the people” he said.

The event was witnessed by critical stakeholders including heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as commissioners for Environment from the NEWMAP participating states The NEWMAP results Market place was also graced with the presence of the Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke who in his address agreed that; “NEWMAP is doing very well in terms of restoring landscapes and enhancing livelihoods across participating states and building trust among the people.”