The Federal Government has released N135.4 billion to states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) based on the second Independent Assessment of Results achieved under the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
This was disclosed by the National Coordinator of the NG-CARES Programme, Dr. Abdulkarim Obaje, in a statement issued on Sunday by Suleiman Odapu, the Information and Communication Officer at NG-CARES.
The NG-CARES Programme, which is funded by the World Bank with a budget of $750 million, is a multi-sectoral intervention designed to provide urgent relief to vulnerable and poor Nigerians who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The programme also aims to support smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to recover from the economic shocks and disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Obaje explained that the fund disbursement was tied to the performance of states and the FCT in their efforts to assist the less privileged under the NG-CARES Programme.
He said that the states and the FCT were assessed on various indicators, such as the number of beneficiaries reached, the quality of service delivery, the timeliness of implementation, and the compliance with fiduciary and safeguard requirements.
According to him, Nasarawa, Cross River, and Zamfara emerged as the top performers, securing N13.6 billion, N10.9 billion, and N10.2 billion respectively in the second round of the programme assessment.
He commended the states and the FCT for their achievements and urged them to sustain the momentum and improve their performance in the subsequent rounds.
”The top three best-performing states in this Second Round of Assessment are Nasarawa, which earned N13,697,828,496.96, Cross River N10,944,747,818.84, and Zamfara N10,231,055,267.82.
“This is a milestone achievement in the efforts of President Bola Tinubu’s administration at providing funds towards addressing multi-dimensional poverty in the country,” Obaje stated.
It would be recalled that the NG-CARES Programme was launched in January 2022 by former Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who said that the World Bank loan was in the order of $750 million, and that it would be implemented over two years (2021-2023).
He also said that the intervention allocation to each state was $20 million and $15 million to the FCT, while there was also $15 million for the Federal Cares Support Unit.