The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has pledged to support and propagate the Hand-in-Hand Initiative in Nigeria.
The Minister made the remark at the Inauguration of the National Steering Committee for Food and Agriculture Organization FOA Hand In Hand initiative held in Abuja on Monday.
Umar Farouq thanked the administration of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari for fostering Agricultural transformation and rural development, while contributing to the extensive elimination of extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
“The Humanitarian and livelihood resilience track will support programme investment plans and interventions in territories at risk of facing shocks and crisis in the North-East, North-West and North-Central States in order to create, sustain and improve resilient livelihoods to withstand shocks and crisis in focus areas within Nigeria.
“As we are aware, the Government of Nigeria is participating in the Hand-in-Hand initiative, a country owned and country led initiative, aimed at supporting agricultural transformation and rural development while building the resilience of vulnerable populations.
Inaugurating the committee, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar stated that the HiH programme is meant to practically facilitate and support the implementation of the framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP 2022-2027) towards accelerating food systems transformation, promoting rapid rural development and building vulnerable population resilience across the country.
“The Hand in Hand Initiative takes cognizance of the country’s economic advantaged and disadvantaged areas in selecting the priority commodities for intervention in selected States.
“The programme is meant to practically facilitate and support the implementation of the framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP 2022-2027) towards accelerating food systems transformation, promoting rapid rural development, and building vulnerable population resilience across the country.
Terms of Reference for the NSC members stipulate that the National Steering Committee (NSC) shall be the highest organ in the Governance Structure of HiH Initiative in Nigeria and will provide overall political leadership, strategic direction, and guidance for the implementation of HiH Initiative in Nigeria in line with national priorities.
The NSC will be responsible for providing oversight for the implementation of the HiH Initiative in Nigeria and will receive periodic Progress Reports on the implementation of the Initiative from the Technical Task Team and FAO HiH Country Team who are responsible for the Implementation of the Program. In addition, the NSC will meet twice a year to receive briefings and reports on the implementation of the Hand-in-Hand Initiative in Nigeria while the Chairman may call for meetings to discuss any matter that may require the attention or guidance of the NSC.
The NSC will also be responsible for resolving conflicts or contending matters amongst participating MDAs which are not resolved by the Technical Task Team while implementing the HiH Initiative in Nigeria.
The Chairman charged the members to recommit themselves to the task ahead by providing the needed leadership for the successful implementation of the programme in Nigeria.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar will serve as the Chairman of the Committee while members include the Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Ministers of Environment, Water Resources, Industry, Trade, and Investment, Finance, Budget, and National Planning, the Executive Governor of Borno State Prof Babagana Zulum, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Statistician General of the Federation, FAO Representative to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Senior National Consultant to FAO on HiH in Nigeria, President of Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association in Nigeria (FACAN) representing Organized Private Sector, Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Chair Agric Donor Working Group (representing Development Partners)
and the TTT Focal Lead of FMARD will serve as the Secretary.
NNEKA IKEM ANIBEZE