UK-DFID Strategies To Develop Niger Delta
PIQUED by the level of poverty and joblessness in the country, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has developed a strategy to drive an inclusive economic growth in the Niger Delta through a quiet revolution.
The new strategy with funding from the DFID is called: “Making Market Work for the Poor (M4P)” approach is driven by “Market for Development (MADE)” to generate sustainable inclusive economic growth in the non-oil sectors across the nine Niger Delta states.
The programme, according to the Team Leader of MADE, Dr. Terry Lacey “aims to improve market access for poor producers, increase economic activity and trade, create jobs and raise incomes of poor people with an expected impact on increased incomes for over 150,000 people; 50% of who are women will see their incomes raised by 40-50% within the value chain which MADE intervention takes place”.
He explained that the general thrust of the market development system “hinge in changing behaviours of key market actors through promotion of best management practice, provisions of incentives in access to finance and appropriate affordable technology; building partnerships; aligning poor farmers with richer ones via voluntary clustering to share links to downstream markets; create synergies between small holders and large estates and plantations and others.”
Dr Lacey further explained that “processors (and in some instances producers) in all the sectors, identified lack of finance and exclusion from the formal banking systems as a primary constraint hindering growth potential and sector-wide performance”.
He pointed out that “given cross cutting nature of the challenge, MADE has decided to engage financial institution partners at the project level, rather than the value chain level, thereby increasing the attractiveness of engagement by creating a larger pool of potential clients for financial institutions”.
In this regards therefore, he said, “in addressing the issue of access to finance, the project is exploring various options to address the supply and demand side constraints; drawing from lessons from other Nigerian DIFD projects.”