The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to support states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) implement the Nigeria COVID-19 Action, Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme.

The government said the move is in order to urgently cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria.

NG-CARES is a state operation with support from the World Bank to the tune of $750 million credit to support the 36 states and FCT mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable households and micro-enterprises in the country.

World Bank Group and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The Chairman of the Federal CARES Technical Committee of the NG-CARES and Director, Economic Growth in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Aso Vakporaye, made the commitment in Abuja, at a one-day meeting with states and the FCT on the packaging of documentation for eligibility under the NG CARES programme.

He urged states and the FCT to present their concerns, seek clarifications on any issue regarding the implementation of the programme, assuring of Federal Government’s commitment to supporting them always.

Vakporaye said: “The NG- CARES programme is in line with the economic sustainability plan of the country and a two-year programme that can put the economy of the poor and vulnerable in a better position.”

Vakporaye thanked the state Governors for believing in what the NG-CARES programme has been designed to achieve, noting that some of the state governors have already released funds for prior NG- CARES activities.

On its part, the World Bank through the Task Team Leader for NG-CARES, Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa commended the Nigerian government for coming up with people-centred programme that addresses the fight against poverty.

“I salute the commitment that has been shown by the federal and state governments to the laudable objectives of the NG CARES. We have seen substantial actions, strives and responses by the federal government in making sure that this programme moves as quickly as possible. The world bank appreciates this commitment” Okunmadewa stated.

The Task Team Leader further stated that the World Bank is committed to assisting the Federal Government of Nigeria in its agenda of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

Earlier, the National Coordinator of NG CARES, Dr. Abdulkarim Obaje, revealed that preparations are on top gear for the national launch of the NG CARES programme scheduled for December 2021.

He also announced that the meeting agreed to a target of 20 states to be disbursement effective by the end of 2021 to start receiving funds to implement the programme provided their Eligibility package is complete.

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