THE Federal Government has approved the release of N135.4 as reimbursement to States and FCT for the implementation of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG CARES) Programme.
In a statement by the NG-CARES Information and Communication Officer, Suleiman Odapu, on Sunday, December 3, the National Coordinator of NG-CARES Programme, Abdulkarim Obaje, said the funds were disbursed based on the results achieved by the States and FCT’s achievements in supporting impoverished Nigerians.
NG-CARES Programme is a World Bank- State support operation implemented in all 36 states and FCT. The programme aims to mitigate the economic and social shocks faced by poor and vulnerable Nigerians as a result of the lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis.
The project is structured as a Programme for Results (PforR), reimbursing States and the FCT for their expenditures if they implement the project as prescribed in the Financing Agreement, the Funds Release Policy, and the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) Protocol.
The ICIR reports that the Federal Government obtained a 750 million USD credit facility from the World Bank to support the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in the implementation of the NG-CARES Programme.
Meanwhile, the statement added that the “top three best performing states in this Second Round of Assessment are Nasarawa which earned N13,697,828,496.96, Cross River N10,944,747,818.84 and Zamfara N10,231,055,267.82.”
The statement added that it is a milestone achievement in the efforts of President Bola Tinubu administration at providing funds towards addressing multi-dimensional poverty in the country.
Obaje further praised the Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, for his support in coordinating the implementation of NG-CARES programme across the country.
He also commended state Governors, the FCT Minister and the World Bank for providing support.
NG-CARES was launched on January 20, 2022, by the then Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN.
Consequently, the Federal Government disbursed a one-off recoverable advance of N35.3 billion to all the 36 States and FCT in March 2022 to facilitate the smooth take-off of the programme.
According to Obaje, the States and FCT produced results valued at N77.2 billion, impacting over two million direct beneficiaries.
Following its initial outcomes observed across all 36 States and the FCT, the Federal Government disbursed a total of 45.3 billion Naira to 29 States and the FCT on Thursday, April 13, 2023.