Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has charged beneficiaries of Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery Stimulus Programme (NG-CARES) grants to be prudent so as to have a multiplier effect to boost their businesses and become employers of labor.
Governor Sani-Bello stated this when he made a symbolic presentation of cheques to a few out of 411 second-phase beneficiaries of the Result Area 3 of NG-CARES at the Government House, Minna.
The governor who observed that there are no white-collar jobs available for everyone commended the initiative as it will help reduce the rate of unemployment and poverty in society.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors by making judicious use of the grant to boost their businesses.
“This is an effort to reduce unemployment. So it is expected that as you benefit from this grant, it will benefit your business at the same time, encourage other people, especially graduates that are moving around for office jobs, there are no more office jobs,” he said.
Earlier, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mallam Zakari Abubakar, explained that NG-CARE is aimed at supporting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to recover from the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Abubakar disclosed that out of the total sum of N203.4million for the 411 beneficiaries, N300,000million is for operational support grants for 253 beneficiaries, 100 beneficiaries will get N600,000 each while 58 beneficiaries will have N300,000 each to ease the financial burden.
He said that 239 businesses had already benefitted from the sum of N71.7 million in the first phase.
The commissioner said that the support was from World Bank with the Bank of Industry (BOI) as their focal point, adding that the beneficiaries were carefully selected through a strict process and there is a well-planned monitoring mechanism to ensure the grant achieve the desired objective.
The DG Niger NG-CARES, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Yahuza Abdullahi, said that the ministry was to supervise the entire activities as the BOI was responsible for the entire process from the selection of the beneficiaries to the disbursement of the funds.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed happiness and assured that they will judiciously utilize the grant to create wealth and jobs.
The 411 beneficiaries cut across the state.