The Federal Government has given its approval for the release of N45.3bn as reimbursement to states and the FCT for the implementation of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
This initiative, supported by the World Bank, is aimed at expanding access to livelihood support and food security services, as well as grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms, in all 36 states and the FCT.
According to Abdulkarim Obaje, the National Coordinator of the NG-CARES Programme, the funds were disbursed on Thursday based on the results achieved by each state after a rigorous result verification exercise conducted by an independent consultant. He highlighted that the results showed significant progress towards achieving the set objectives and targets of the NG-CARES Programme.
Obaje further stated that the Federal Government had earlier disbursed a one-off recoverable advance of N35.3bn to all the 36 states and the FCT in March 2022 to facilitate the smooth take-off of the programme.
In less than one year, states and the FCT have produced results valued at N77.2bn, impacting over 2 million direct beneficiaries. The reimbursement of N45.3bn to 29 states and the FCT was made after the recovery of the one-off advance.
Among the best-performing states in this round of reimbursement, Zamfara State received N5,273,150,000.00, followed by Bauchi with N4,232,200,000.00, and Ondo with N3,838,233,411.00. Obaje hailed this as a milestone in the efforts to reduce poverty in the country.
He also urged the beneficiaries to utilize the funds in accordance with the Financing Agreement and the Funds Release Policy that they had signed.