The World Bank has extended an assistant to the Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to the tune of $15 million, through the Federal Government, to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially its impact on lives and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable.
The federal government World Bank-assisted economic recovery fund is put at $750 million for Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT.
Permanent Secretary in the FCT Administration, Olusade Adesola, who stated this while inaugurating the FCT Steering Committee on COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus, known as FCT CARES, said that the committee will use the money to help restore the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, maintaining food security and facilitating recovery of small and medium scale enterprises.
Adesola, who was represented by the Director, Human Resources Management in the FCTA, Mallam Bashir Mohammed, explained that the advent of COVID-19 in Nigeria in 2020 had a devastating impact the people and that the lockdown which was imposed as part of containment measures against the virus severely affected income, as businesses were limited and restricted in the FCT. According to him, a significant reopening of the economy has been on several months, but the recovery from last year’s forced contraction and economic difficulties continues.
“The FCTA is especially eager to support the acceleration and expansion of this recovery to help businesses regain markets, income, and confidence. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy arising from the global lockdown and its severe negative impact on livelihoods and food cannot be overemphasised.
“As a result of this, the federal government in collaboration with the World Bank and the Nigeria Governors Forum developed the States/FCT CARES programme to cushion the effect of the pandemic, most especially on the most vulnerable segment of the Nigeria population. CARES is a result-oriented programme to deliver the results in the following three key areas; result area one; to increase social transfers, basic services, and livelihood support to the poor and vulnerable household. “Under this, 42, 606 individuals are expected to benefit directly, while over 180,000 people will benefit indirectly.”
He further explained that the result area two would be to increase food security and safe functioning of the food supply chain under which a total of 12, 293 farmers will benefit directly, while over 100, 000 people will benefit indirectly.
“Result area three, to facilitating recovery of SMEs through grants, under this, a total number of 612 business will benefit directly, while over 10,000 people will benefit indirectly. “Outcomes from the three result areas reinforce one another, enhancing the wellbeing of poor and vulnerable households, together with employment and livelihood grants can help boost demand for the agricultural produce of farmers and food suppliers and other goods and services offered by SMEs.”
Adesola said that the newly inaugurated steering committee is expected to provide oversight and policy guidance to the implementation of the program (PforR) at the FCT, by the financial agreement and operations manual, that they will also liaise with the National Assembly for adequate allocation/appropriation of resources. Among other expectations, the committee is expected to consider and clear the work plan and budget of the FCCU and delivery units/platforms to be funded from the NG CARES resources of the FCT.
Source: Business News Report.