The Federal Government of Nigeria alongside the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) supported project Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises – Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) shone like a million stars at a regional training workshop on financial management for IFAD funded projects for West and Central Africa Anglophone countries held in Abuja from the 15 – 17 August, 2023.
The primary aim of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders with a view to strengthening the effective implementation of major financial management and fiduciary reforms for the projects.
130 participants including Coordinators, Finance Managers, Accountants, Internal and external Auditors from Supreme Audit Institutions, as well as Ministries experts from Anglophone West and Central Africa (Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) attended the workshop.
The highlight of the workshop was the period of knowledge sharing. LIFE-ND actively participated during this session and did a presentation sharing the processes that led to its pioneering the automation of the Interim Financial Reporting (IFR) system among IFAD projects in Nigeria. IFR is a quarterly financial reporting introduced by IFAD globally and serves as the basis for IFAD disbursements to projects.
On his part, the LIFE-ND Financial Controller, Mr. Matthew Erhima who did a knowledge sharing presentation on behalf of the National Programme Coordinator, Engr Sanni Abiodun said the project adopted the IFR in a bid to reduce the turnaround time for generating and rendering financial reports to IFAD and other stakeholders. In his presentation, he shared the process that was adopted by the project to pioneer and automate the IFR.
It was a watershed moment for the LIFE-ND project which has a target of producing 25,500 youths and women in agri entrepreneurship through the youth incubation model that stood tall and received great commendation from IFAD for this feat.
Regional Finance Officer for IFAD West and Central Africa, Mr Austin Tatah commended LIFE-ND for pioneering the use of the IFR among IFAD projects in Nigeria. He urged LIFE-ND to continue to share its financial knowledge with other IFAD projects in Nigeria – Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) and Special Agro-Processing Zone (SAPZ).
According to him “IFAD takes issues related to financial reporting very seriously and does not fail to recognize any excelling project under its supervision. The essence is to encourage others to improve on their processes and continuously take advantage of the knowledge available within the system”.