FG Spends N14.8Bn on NG-CARES in Six Northern States – Official

The National Coordinator, Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES), Abdulkarim Obaje, said that the Federal Government, through its Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme, spent the sum of N14.8bn on 160,572 beneficiaries in six northern states.

The fund, he said, was part of the $750 million loan from the World Bank in 2021 which spans through 2023 adding that each of the states was allocated $20 million while the Federal Capital Territory and the NG-CARES got $15 million each. 

He stated this in Bauchi on Wednesday at the end of a one-day Ministerial Town Hall Meeting organised for Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano and Plateau states beneficiaries of the programme.

Obaje added that hundreds of thousands of SMEs have benefited from the programme in order to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, Bauchi state got N4.2bn, Gombe state got N3.3bn, Katsina N3.040bn, Kano N1.6bn, Jigawa N1.4bn and Plateau state got N1.081bn

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Budget and Economic Planning, Clem Agba, said that the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged many economies in the world with devastating consequences on the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable individuals as well as micro and small businesses and peasant farmers who rely on daily subsistence income to survive.

He was represented by Rev. Aso Vakporaye, Chairman, of the Federal Care Technical Committee of NG-CARES.

He said, in order to mitigate the adverse impacts of the pandemic and lay a solid foundation for a robust economic recovery, the Federal Government enunciated several policy measures under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) which was launched by President Muhammad Buhari.

“In July, the ESP laid out policy measures to mobilise funds and other resources to maintain macroeconomic stability, stimulate oil and non-oil government revenues and reduce non-essential spending.

“In furtherance of the government effort to scale up its programme under the social protection agenda and to respond swiftly and appropriately to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government accessed a World Bank concessional loan.

“This loan which was US$ 750 million was accessed on behalf of the 36 States and FCT to stimulate the local economy and increase household consumption among the poor and vulnerable segment of the society,” said the Minister.

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