AFDB commends SARD-SC project as one of the Bank’s best managed projects

The SARD-SC project  funded by the AfDB has  come  out  tops  once again, as the members of the Bank’s  Supervisory mission    have  unequivocally  described  the  project as one  of the Bank’s  best managed  projects.  This was the verdict of the AFDB officials who recently undertook the sixth supervisory mission to the IITA/SARD-SC project   from 29 November – 4, December 2015, in Ibadan, Oyo State.  The team led by   Dr. Ibrahim Amadou, Task Manager, accompanied by Mr.  Usman G. Mohammed, Disbursement Officer, Mr. Jaffar Abba, Procurement officer, and Mr. Olufemi Ojo-Fajuyi, Financial Management Consultant, also  commended the  project team  for  efficient  project  implementation in all ramifications  and  for achieving   significant outputs  for  transformational  impact   in project countries.

While  welcoming the  AFDB officials to IITA,  Dr. Chrys Akem, Project Coordinator,   stated the  purpose  of  the  supervision  was  “to   evaluate   the project’s  progress  and  how far  it has carried  out  the bank’s  recommendations and  also to proffer solutions to  issues which may have  arisen  from   the last   Mid Term Review  held  in May 2015.”

During the course of the mission, the team   paid a courtesy  visit to Dr. Nteranya Sanginga Director  General of  IITA, and  briefed  him on  the Mission’s  terms of Reference. The DG welcomed them and expressed his pleasure on the  reported progress  of the SARD-SC project. He also  assured  the  team of  the  readiness of the IITA’s  senior  management  to  do all that  is necessary  to ensure that  the  project  delivers  its  planned  outputs and impacts.

The  members of the  mission listened to project implementation presentations  and   held  several  discussions  with the  various  management and   project implementation teams   from the  executing  agency (IITA) and  the implementing institutions (AfricaRice ICARDA)  All of the Project implementation Unit  staff of the three key project implementing institutions (IITA, AfricaRice and ICARDA) were  present  at the supervisory mission.

The mission activities kicked off   with    comprehensive   presentations by   the project Commodity Specialists; Dr. Marie Yomeni for cassava, Dr. Sam Ajala for Maize  Dr. Sidi Sanyang, for Rice  and  Dr. Solomon Assefa, for wheat. Dr. Issaka   Amadou, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist also presented on M&E updates while Mr. Seyi Fashokun presented on Project Accounts and Mrs. Zulfawu Yahaya on Procurement..   The presentations addressed progress on all the commodity  components since MTR as well as procurement and financial executions of the project and were followed by informal discussions with the Commodity Specialists, and other officers, to get clarifications on various aspects of project implementation and outputs.

The team made  some key  observations  on the project  implementation status, especially their satisfaction on   significant  improvements in  project  implementation   across  all the commodity value  chains of cassava, maize, rice and wheat; as well as within the different components (technology and innovation generation, technology and  innovation  dissemination, capacity  building and  efficient project management). They also observed  that  efforts to achieve  the  various targets  set for the  different  indicators  show  that the project  is on track. While  rounding off the Supervisory  visit, Dr. Ibrahim Amadou, Project Task manager, commended  the SARD-SC project “as  one of the best managed  projects of the AFDB.” He  therefore urged the “Project Management Unit and  project  team  members  to  continue  to  work hard  and  ensure  the  project  has  transformational impact on  beneficiaries  in order to  earn a  second phase.”

The disbursement rate  of the project, they  noted   is   currently   63.55% which, the Bank officials  said   was  a good rate for such a complex project at its current level of implementation.  They expected  this  to  increase  further  as  the  project  draws  to its end in 2017.

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