As a step further toward facilitating the achievement of the Project Development Objectives of Agro- Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), the kogi state project coordinator, Dr. Sanni Abdullahi Ozomata has inaugurated the Grievance Redress Committee (GRM).
The inauguration was done at Lokoja and the committee is chaired by Justice Stephen Idajili retired.
During the inauguration the state project coordinator, Dr. Ozomata said the Grievance Redress Committee will serve as a platform where farmers, beneficiaries and communities benefiting from the APPEALS project can channel their complaints for quick and fair resolution.
He said being proactive with a focus on preventive measures will help ensure an effective GRM and urged the committee to ensure that issues are quickly and amicably resolved even before they escalate to a crisis level. He noted that GRM is an integral part of the project implementation process which will play a major role in facilitating the smooth implementation of the project.
In his keynote Address, the Acting Chairman State Steering Committee and Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Kehinde Oloruntoba commended the state coordination office for instituting the committee noting that this will help prevent and mitigate grievances that may arise during project implementation. He also commended kogi APPEALS for aligning the project with the states’ Agricultural blueprint.
He stated that the soon to be commissioned Multi million naira Ejiba will serve as avenue for rice farmers under APPEALS project to get their products processed.
Delivering a paper titled, Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM): promoting harmony for the success of APPEALS project, the resource person, Mr. Abu- Saeed Buhari said for a GRM to be effective, members must be qualified, experienced and competent who can win the respect and confidence of the affected communities.
GRM establishes a forum and a structure to report grievances with dignity, and access to a fair hearing and remedy, and also, helps win trust and confidence of community members in the project and creates productive relationships between parties, he said.
Giving the acceptance speech on behalf of other members, the GRC chairman, Justice Stephen Idajili commended the proactive effort of the World Bank through the APPEALS project in setting up the Grievance Redress Mechanism to facilitate the smooth implementation of the project. He assured APPEALS project of committees’ commitment to discharging its’ duties with high level of integrity and probity.