The federal government has commenced the process of accessing a World Bank loan of $750 million on behalf of its states to aid in mitigating the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy. The Minister of finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed said in a statement this during the inauguration of the Federal Steering Committees of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) in Abuja.
The minister explained that the government had created interventions and included them in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) in 2020, adding that the N-CARES committee is expected to provide planned out policies in the implementation of the interventions with annual performance feedback at all government levels.
“To ensure that implementation of the N-CARES is in line with the federal government priorities as outlined in the ESP, the Federal Steering Committee, made up of ministers and permanent secretaries as well as a Technical Committee, made up of directors of key ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) has to be in place. The government has carefully selected you as members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important role your MDAs play in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty.” Mrs. Ahmed said.
Speaking further on the N-CARES committee, she noted that the country needs to address the economic concerns as it cannot remain in recession while the survival its 200 million populace relied on it.
“Let me remind you that the consequences will be too high if we ignore the root cause of rising civil unrest in our country. We must, therefore, fashion out ways of ensuring that post-COVID-19 is not injurious to the Nigerian people and the economy.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, as members of the Federal Steering Committee, while your major role will be to provide an overall policy direction for the implementation of this programme and advise Mr. President appropriately, the Federal Technical Committee will be responsible for the programme oversight, overall guidance, support, coordination, strategic direction, review and approval of the annual work programme as well as budget for the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU),” the minister said.