The federal government of Nigeria in collaboration with World Bank is set to disburse 20miilion dollars to micro businesses, vulnerable individuals and communities through the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (Nigeria CARES) with a view to cushioning the devastating effect of the pandemic in the country.
This was disclosed when the technical assessment committee from the federal government visited the office of the Secretary to the Delta State Government to ascertain the preparedness of the state government for the take off of the programme, known as Delta CARES on June 30, 2021.
The Leader of the Technical Committee Assessment Team, Mrs. Fatoki Adebukola, who led the team to the office of the SSG, said the team was in the state to conduct a Readiness Assessment and Advisory Support as part of activities to prepare the state for the delivery platforms and systems towards the commencement of the programme on June 30.
The Delta State Head, Coordinating Unit of the Delta CARES programme, Lady Patience Ogbewe, gave details of the programme, the eligibility criteria for each state and the specific areas the funds will be disbursed for the benefit of persons, micro businesses and communities impacted by the harsh effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She told the SSG, Chief Patrick Ukah and senior staff of the office that the programme will be implemented in the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja.
She said the team was in Delta to assess the readiness of the state for the programme, noting that certain conditions must of necessity be met by individual states to be eligible for the implementation of the project.
Beng the focal person of the programme in the state, she said Delta state has been working assiduously for the proper take off of the programme.
According to her, “the programme will kick off on June 30. “For the programme to kick off, the Nigeria CARES has to be sure the state is fully ready to accept and implement the programme. We are expected to have state steering committee which has been inaugurated, we are also expected to have state CARES coordinating unit. This has also been put in place.”
She identified three result areas where the programme is to be implemented. She identified increase social transfer, basic services and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households, the livelihood grant for economically active people who will be trained on specific areas and thereafter equipment and funds will be provided to activate their business.
The third, according to her, is the provision of basic service infrastructure to communities that are lacking basic amenities. She noted that the intervention is to meet the need of some communities that are yet to address issues of potable water, classroom blocks and others.
Responding, Chief Patrick Ukah, Secretary to the State Government, said the Delta state government is ready to partner with donor agencies towards the development of the state.
The SSG noted that the state Ministry of Economic Planning had worked hard in ensuring that the state benefits from the World Bank Assisted Intervention Programme by putting in place the structures needed in order to access the funding from the World Bank.
“I am aware that the Ministry of Economic Planning has been working seriously to make sure that we benefit from the World Bank Assisted Programme” he stated.
Chief Ukah equally stated that collaboration with the World Bank and other donor partner agencies would help the state in achieving the Stronger Delta vision of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who is bent on finishing strong at the end of his tenure.
He said with the structures put in place so far by the Delta Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic stimulus (D CARES), it was obvious that the state was ready for the programme.