The Federal Government has approved the release of N45.3 billion as reimbursement to States and the FCT for the implementation of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG CARES) Programme.
The National Coordinator of NG-CARES Programme, Dr Abdulkarim Obaje, made the disclosure in a statement by Mr Suleiman Odapu, Information and Communication Officer, NG-CARES, on Sunday in Abuja.
Obaje explained that the funds, disbursed on Thursday, April 13, were based on Results each State and FCT earned after a rigorous result verification exercise conducted by an independent Consultant.
He stated that the results earned by the States and the FCT show significant progress towards achieving the set objectives and targets of the NG-CARES Programme.
“To facilitate the smooth take-off of the programme, the Federal Government disbursed a one-off recoverable advance of N35.3 billion to all the 36 States and the FCT in March 2022, and in less than one year, States and FCT have produced results valued at N77.2 billion, impacting over 2 million direct beneficiaries.”
“The Federal Government on Thursday reimbursed the 29 States and FCT to the tune of N45.3 billion after recovery of the one-off advance. The top three best performing States in this round of reimbursement are Zamfara State, with N5,273,150,000.00, Bauchi State N4,232,200,000.00 and Ondo State N3,838,233,411.00.
“This is a milestone in the efforts at reducing poverty in the country,” Obaje noted.
The National Coordinator appealed to States and the FCT to use the funds released in line with the Financing Agreement and the “Funds Release Policy” which all the States and FCT signed.
Obaje commended key stakeholders in the programme, notably, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, for providing the needed leadership at the federal level to coordinate the implementation at the States and FCT, State Governors, and the World Bank for providing the credit and technical support.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NG-CARES Programme is a Federal Government initiative and supported by the World Bank implemented in all 36 States and FCT.
The Programme aims to expand access to livelihood support and food security services and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms.
By Salisu Sani Idris
Edited by Vincent Obi