Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq has handed over 40 operational vehicles for onward distribution to Coordinators of the State Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES).
The vehicles, which were procured by the Federal Project Support Unit of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, were handed over to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, on Wednesday (May 26, 2021) at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
The N-CARES is the federal government initiative with support from the World Bank to mitigate the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Presenting the vehicles, the minister thanked the World Bank for coming to the aid of the poor and vulnerable people of Nigeria affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I want to, on behalf of the President and the people of Nigeria, appreciate the World Bank for this wonderful gesture of coming to the aid of the poor and vulnerable people of Nigeria and businesses that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I strongly believe that the vehicles that are being commissioned (sic) today will go a long way in assisting the State Coordinators of the programme in carrying out the herculean task of alleviating the suffering of ordinary people in the country.
“Let me also commend the efforts of the steering committee for N-CARES and the Federal Cares Technical Committee for their efforts in ensuring that the intervention from the World Bank gets to the people at the grassroots.
“There is no doubt that this assistance from the World Bank will impact on the beneficiaries as well as contribute to the rebuilding of the economy and prosperity in Nigeria.
“I therefore urge the States and the FCT to ensure adequate utilisation of the vehicles and the resources from the World Bank to bring happiness to our people.”
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba assured stakeholders that the programme under the National Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) would assist vulnerable Nigerians who were hit by the pandemic.
He said: “I wish to sincerely appreciate the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in following up with his promise of ensuring that 100 million Nigerians are lifted out of poverty within 10 years. It is on the premise of this agenda of Mr President that we are here today.
“You will agree with me that the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the world with significant consequences on informal businesses; households that survive on daily income, and also peasant farmers who depend on their farm produce to survive.
“As part of Government’s measures to mitigate these and other effects of Covid-19, the Federal Government has approved the Nigeria Covid-19 Actions Recovery and Economic Stimulus programme.
“The Nigeria Covid-19 Actions Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) programme is a multi-sectoral programme designed to provide immediate emergency relief to the vulnerable and poor Nigerians, Smallholder Farmers and SMEs that were adversely affected by Covid19 pandemic using a World Bank $750million loan over a period of two years (2021-2023).”
According to Agba: “The programme is an emergency one to be driven and implemented by the 36 States, and the FCT, using the Programme for Result (PForR) delivery mechanism within three Results Areas that has option of 11 Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) at the State, with some technical support coming through the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU) to provide support to the States.
“To ensure that the implementation of the N-CARES is in line with the Federal Government Priorities, a Preparatory team was set up by my Ministry, the Federal CARES Preparatory Team in collaboration with the World Bank Nigeria Team and the States including the FCT which worked tirelessly over the past 8 months on the programme for a seamless takeoff. This event is one of the outcomes of the several efforts from the collaboration.
“The preparatory processes would have met with so many challenges but for the invaluable support of the Federal Project Support Unit (FPSU) of the Community Social Development Programme (CSDP) in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. They have served efficiently as the Focal Agency facilitating the N-CARES preparation.”
He added: “The programme is designed to build on existing programmes namely; (a) CSDP, (b) YESSO, (c) FADAMA, (d) BOI/GEEP (e) Nigeria GOV FORUM Platforms. The Federal Agencies as constituted in the Federal Cares Technical Committee (FCTC) are to provide every required support while, the States/FCT Platform will be used to deliver the intervention.”
The minister said that the intervention allocation to each States was $20m and $15m to the FCT, while, $15m was for the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU).
He disclosed that the N-CARES programme would be effective as from June 30, 2021, pointing out, however, that the Federal and States were required to meet the “effectiveness conditions before declaration.”
Agba stated that in furtherance of the desired effectiveness of the N-CARES programme and also considering the fact that the programme was to be driven by the sub-national governments, “the Community Social Development Programme has procured project vehicles for the 36 States and the FCT to enable the State CARES Coordinators effectively perform their facilitatory responsibilities before the final take-off of the N-CARES programme in June 2021.”
He expressed appreciation to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for her untiring efforts and for the facilitatory roles played by the agencies under her supervision in the preparatory activities of the N-CARES Programme without which the whole process would have been very challenging.
The minister said he looked forward to the effective implementation of “this noble programme as I encourage the State CARES Coordinators to deploy their wealth of experiences and expertise in undertaking their assignments and in ensuring the successful takeoff and implementation of the N-CARES programme at the sub-national levels.”