The Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi has officially launched the commencement of the renovation of the Federal Ministry of Environment’s conference hall, marking the beginning of a transformative project funded by the World Bank.
The renovation aims to provide a new and improved space for hosting various national, international and bilateral meetings between the ministry and its development partners.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony held in Abuja, Abdullahi emphasised the importance of maintaining high standards and professionalism throughout the project implementation. He urged the contractor responsible for the renovation to ensure timely completion of the work as scheduled.
Highlighting the context of the project, Abdullahi explained that the renovation of the hall falls under the ‘institutional support and strengthening’ component of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project. ACReSAL, a World Bank-assisted initiative, is a six-year project focused on addressing environmental challenges in the 19 states of northern Nigeria, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, in collaboration with the ministries of agriculture and water resources.
The minister noted that the need for the renovation was recognized during a workshop on procurement and work planning held by the ACReSAL project in Lagos last year. The workshop aimed to support the ministry in enhancing its conference hall facilities, taking into account the ministry’s engagements with local and international organisations.
Furthermore, the minister acknowledged the project’s recommendation to strengthen the ministry’s social media platforms, ensuring wider public access to information regarding the ministry’s activities and its affiliated agencies.
Expressing gratitude to the World Bank and the ACReSAL project, Abdullahi commended the commencement of the renovation work, underscoring its significance for the ministry’s future endeavours.
In support of the minister’s vision, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat, Hon. Johnson Oghuma emphasised the timeliness and justification of upgrading the ministry’s conference hall. Oghuma, who had visited conference halls in other ministries, recognised the ministry’s extensive exposure and relationships with local and international communities and development partners, emphasising the need to elevate the hall to global standards.
Impressed by the minister’s identification of the project, both in terms of physical renovations and the digital component, Oghuma expressed the committee’s confidence in the minister’s leadership.
Earlier, the national project coordinator of the ACReSAL project, Mr. Abdulhamid Umar highlighted the project’s origins during last year’s ACReSAL project annual work and procurement plan workshop in Lagos. The initiative to upgrade the ministry’s conference hall was discussed and approved as part of the project’s support to the ministry.
Umar commended the ministry for its cooperation with the ACReSAL project and expressed his satisfaction with the minister’s leadership as chairman of the federal steering committee. He further announced that the renovation work is projected to be completed within eight weeks, showcasing the project’s commitment to swift implementation.
In a statement by the ministry’s head of press and public relations, Ibrahim Haruna, Umar acknowledged the ministry’s support for the ACReSAL project, marking a fruitful collaboration between both entities.