By Chidinma Chukwu, Abuja.
The Nigerian government through the world bank is deploying $750 million intervention fund to the thirty-six state of the federation and the federal capital territory for a two year period.
The fund is targeted at supporting individuals, families and businesses that have suffered as a result of measures taken to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his address at the appraisal meeting of the Ncare programme in Abuja, the Minister of state, Finance, Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Agba said it is the responsibility of government to lessen the burden of the masses by providing palliatives and stimulus that will cushion the effect of the pandemic.
“There will be consequences if we do not do anything to get our poor and vulnerable citizens on their feet, the prediction of dead bodies may be real, civil unrest may become the norm and eventually our economy will go into recession.
“It is therefore expected that at the end of the two years of this emergency intervention, our people in the state will not ask us question on how we spend the loan because we shall have visible result to show” he noted.
The Executive Director, Nigerian Governors Forum Secretariat, Abdulateeef Shittu explained that disbursement is based on result and performance and endorsement link that have been set.
He said the pillars of the programme are social transfer, food security and savaging the small and medium enterprises SMEs.
Representative of the Focal agency for the Nigerian Care programme, Abdulkareem Obaje who stressed the need for urgency for the resources to get into the country for distribution urged the federal government to prioritise capacity building in the issue of technical support for the 36 states and the FCT.
He said state governors will designate responsibility to the ministry with the implementing structure in place to coordinate the programme in their various states.
Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Ada Kene-Uyanwune said the programme will help states have a rethink on governance, transparency and performance of result.
She added that the fund will help to revamp the economy of states in the country.
Commissioner, Economic, Planning and Budget in Ondo State, Igbasam Emmanuel, said the fund is coming at the right time and for the right purpose. He however assured the fund will get to the people of grass roots.