Nigeria is set to receive the World Bank’s grant to the tune of $750 million spread over a period of two years, aimed at cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, in Abuja while receiving 40 operational vehicles from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, presented by the Minister, Sadiya Farouq.
Agba said that the funding from the international lender aligned with the government’s National COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) targeted vulnerable members of the country.
Breaking down the disbursement of the funds, the minister said that states would receive $20 million each for a period of two years while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would get $15 million and the Federal Care Support would receive $15 million.
The minister said, “The Federal Government has approved the Nigeria COVID-19 Action and Recovery and Economic stimulus programme which is a multi-sectoral programme designed to provide immediate emergency relief to vulnerable and poor Nigerians, smallholder farmers, and small and medium enterprises that were adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic using the World Bank grant of $750 million over a period of two years which is from 2021-2023.
“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 result areas that have option of 11 disbursement linked indicators (DLIs) in the states, with some technical support coming through the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU).
“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 last eight months for a seamless takeoff.
“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.”
On her part, the minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, thanked the support of the Washington-based organisation.
She said, “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 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.”