Kogi, Six Other States Lose N45bn FG Funding
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning and the Chairman of the Federal Cares Steering Committee, Clem Agba, has disclosed that only 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory, are beneficiaries of the funds disbursed under the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme.
He made this disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday at the NG-Cares press briefing on the recently released N45.3bn by the Federal Government to states and the FCT.
At the briefing, the minister noted that the Federal Government sought and obtained a $750m credit facility from the World Bank to support the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in implementing the NG-CARES Programme.
He said that the purpose of the support was to mitigate the economic and social shocks faced by poor and vulnerable Nigerians because of the lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis.
Each state was entitled to $20m, while the FCT was to get $15m from the World Bank’s credit.
The minister said, “The credit is on-lent to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory with each state allocated $20m and the Federal Capital Territory $15m.
“It is a Multi-Sectoral Programme designed to provide immediate emergency relief across various sectors to vulnerable and poor Nigerians, Smallholder Farmers and SMEs that were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By design, the NG-CARES is a Programme for Result where States and the FCT are reimbursed for expending their own funds if they implement the programme in line with the signed Financing Agreement, The Funds Release Policy and Independent Verification Agent Protocol.”
He added that after a verification exercise for the states and the FCT on their performance under the programme, about N45.3bn was released to 29 states and the FCT on April 13, 2023.
He noted that seven states could not repay the advance, including Imo State, which did not earn any results in the first round.
The seven states, according to a separate breakdown of states distributed after the press conference, included Benue, Ebonyi, Kogi, Taraba, Enugu, Ogun, and Imo states.
Zamfara was said to emerge as the best-performing state, getting a total of N5.27bn.
The minister further noted that states that did not get a reimbursement in the current round are still eligible for reimbursement during subsequent rounds.
He urged states to adhere to set guidelines outlined in the Programme’s Financing Agreement, Funds Release Policy and Independent Verification Agent Protocol.
He further said that the programme had so far impacted over two million direct beneficiaries who are poor and vulnerable in the 36 States and the FCT.