FG SETS UP COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY, SEEKS $750M WORLD BANK LOAN

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Hajia Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning

In line with the country’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) and actions towards boosting Nigeria’s economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has set up a Federal Technical / Steering Committee of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery for Economic Stimulus (N-CARES).

The N-CARES programme is a multi-sectoral programme, designed to provide emergency relief to the vulnerable and poor Nigerians; including smallholder farmers and SMEs that were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

HajiaZainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, while inaugurating the committees in Abuja, called on members to ensure that post-COVID-19 is not injurious to Nigerians and the economy.

She also said that diverse and severe impacts of the pandemic are being felt across the world with significant consequences on informal businesses, households and farmers; urging the committee members to provide a workable framework that will both aid the implementation of the N-CARES programme and advise the President appropriately.

The Finance Minister also disclosed that the Federal Government was working on securing a $750m World Bank loan to boost Nigeria’s economy post Covid-19.

According to Ms.Zainab, “As part of windows of opportunity to mitigate the effect of Covid-19, the Federal Government is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of 750 million dollars on behalf of the states to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable households’ consumption”.

She further highlighted that the Federal Government under the President Buhari administration has created several windows of interventions as captured in the Economic Sustainability Plan which amongst other things will respond robustly and appropriately to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, identify fiscal measures to enhance oil and non-oil government revenues and reduce non-essential spending.

The N-CARES Federal Steering Committee is made up of Ministers and Permanent Secretaries whose major role is to provide overall policy direction for the implementation of the programme, While the Technical Committee comprises Directors of key MDAs who are saddled with the responsibility of providing key 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).

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