The Minister Nigeria State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, has disclosed that the World Bank has extended the federal government’s COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG CARES) Programme till June 2024.
Agba, who chairs the Federal CARES Steering Committee (FCSC), of the programme, disclosed this at a ministerial town hall meeting on NG-Care programme for stakeholders in Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and River states.
The meeting held in Benin, Edo State capital, on Wednesday.
“The programme was to end June 2023 but due to last year’s flood that affects food security and supply chain, we approach the World Bank for extension of the programme from June 2023 to June 2024,” he said.
“I am glad that the World Bank’s Task Team Leader has communicated to me that we now have approval for the extension and the official letter would come to me next week.”
Agba said based on the first round of direct assessment by the Independent Verification Agency, NG Care has impacted over two million direct beneficiaries including the poor and vulnerable Nigerians
He said the NG Care programme is one of the policy options explored by the federal government to achieve its objective of removing 100 million Nigerians from poverty and taken care of the livelihood of the vulnerable and poor Nigerians.
Agba restated the federal government’s commitment to restoring the livelihood of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians, maintain food security and facilitate the recovery of MMSE.
He said the town hall meeting was to enable the government to talk to the beneficiaries directly to hear their challenges so as to correct them for future programmes among others.
On his part, Dr. Abdul Karim Obaje, National Coordinator, NG-CARES, said 35 states and FCT earned N77.2 billion during the first verification exercise of the programme and that they still have three round of assessment to do on the programme.
On performance of states, Obaje said “29 state and FCT earned re-imbursement after the deduction of the initial advance payment.”