Federal government has announced the disbursement of N45.3 billion to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory under the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme. NG-CARES was launched on 20th January 2022, Leadership reports.
Minister of state budget and national planning, Prince Clem Agba made the disclosure at a press conference organised to provide an update on the federal government’s progress in its resolve to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
The credit is on-lent to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory with each state allocated $20 million and the Federal Capital Territory $15 million.
It is a multi-sectoral programme designed to provide immediate emergency relief across various sectors, to vulnerable and poor Nigerians, smallholder farmers and SMEs that were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By design, the NG-CARES is a programme where states and the FCT are reimbursed for expending their own funds if they implement the programme in line with the signed financing agreement, funds release policy and Independent Verification Agent (IVA) protocol.
Based on results earned by the 36 States and the FCT, the federal government on Thursday 13th April 2023, disbursed the total sum of N45.3 billion to 29 States and the FCT.
Zamfara State emerged the best performing State after this round of assessment and therefore received the highest amount from the total disbursed sum of N45.3 billion, with an allocation of N5,273,150,000.
The government sought and obtained a $750 million credit facility from the World Bank to support the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in the implementation of the NG-CARES programme.
Of the 36 states and the FCT that are participating in the NG-CARES programme, seven states were unable to repay the advance while one state, Imo, did not earn any result in the first round.
“The states which did not receive reimbursement during the current round, are still eligible for reimbursement during subsequent rounds,” Agba said.
To qualify, states must adhere to set guidelines outlined in the programme’s financing agreement, funds release policy and independent verification agent protocol.
“The results of this first round of assessment shows that States and the FCT are improving on their strides to alleviate poverty in line with the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari,” the minister stated.
The federal government provided an initial advance of N35.3 billion to all the 36 states and the FCT in March 2022 to ensure a seamless implementation of the programme, citing the challenge of paucity of funds faced by the states and the FCT, with a plan to recover the one-off advance during reimbursement.
Prince Agba said President Buhari’s administration will continue to strive to deliver development to the poor and vulnerable and the underserved even for a few seconds to handover to the next administration.
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