COVID-19: World Bank okays Nigeria’s $750m economic programme

Hajiya-Zainab-Ahmed: Minister of Finance

By Salisu Sani-Idris

The World Bank has declared as “effective“ Nigeria’s 750-million-dollars COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.

Mr Aso Vakporaye, the Chairman, Federal CARES Technical Committee, made this known in a statement he issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

Vakporaye explained that the World Bank recommendation was contained in a letter which the Country Director of World Bank Office in Nigeria, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, addressed to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

He said that the World Bank stated that the Federal Government had met all the conditions for eligibility for the credit line.

Vakporaye recalled that the Federal Government sought the assistance of the World Bank in funding its people- centred Post COVID-19 Economic Sustainability Plan.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to lift 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years. The NG-CARES Programme is one of the strategic actions being taken to achieve this presidential mandate.

“Each of the 36 states of the federation will get a nominal allocation of 20 million dollars, while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will get 15 million dollars under the Programme for Result (PforR) financing instrument of the World Bank.

“This is an emergency intervention Programme, built on three result areas with 11 disbursement linked indicators (DLIs). Results Area One: focuses on Increased Social Transfers, Basic Services, and Livelihood Support to Poor and Vulnerable Households.

“Results Area Two will address the issue of increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chains; and Results Area Three will support initiatives aimed at facilitating the recovery and enhancing capabilities of micro and small enterprises across the federation and the FCT,” he said.

Vakporaye said that the NG-CARES programme objectives were to expand access to livelihood support and food security services and provide grants for the poor and vulnerable households, as well as firms”.