The Federal CARES Steering Committee (FCSC) for the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme has been inaugurated by the Nigerian Government. This initiative, supported by a $750 million credit from the World Bank, is strategically designed as a shock response mechanism and distribution channel to assist the poor and vulnerable across the country.

The primary goal of the NG-CARES Programme is to expand access to livelihood support, food security services, and grants for impoverished households and businesses. Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, will serve as the Chairman of the FCSC, according to Mr. Suleiman Odapu, the Information and Communication Officer for NG-CARES.

Sen. Bagudu emphasized the importance of teamwork within the FCSC, urging members to encourage states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to take advantage of NG-CARES to implement programs and act as distribution channels for reaching those in need. The minister highlighted the program’s capability to respond to various shocks, including social, environmental, and economic impacts of government policies.

The NG-CARES Programme also addresses food security and supports arid season farming. The World Bank, represented by NG-CARES Co-Task Team Leader Dr. Lire Ersado, expressed commitment to supporting the Nigerian government in improving the lives of the poor and vulnerable. Dr. Ersado praised the NG-CARES program as one of the best-designed and implemented globally, commending Sen. Bagudu for his leadership.

National Coordinator Dr. Abdulkarim Obaje revealed that the program is set to conclude in June 2024, with two additional rounds of independent assessments of outstanding results. The Nigerian Government has already reimbursed states and the FCT with 210 billion Naira to implement NG-CARES, according to Dr. Obaje, who urged the FCSC to conduct advocacy visits to low-performing states under the program.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by key government officials, including the Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security, Environment, Water Resources, Women’s Affairs, and the Minister of State for Labour. The World Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning were also represented at the event.

Quest: Emmanuel kelvin

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