By SALISU SANI-IDRIS
ABUJA- The FCT Administration has allocated N2.745 billion to its Fadama COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) project.
FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, made the disclosure at the inauguration of the disbursement of grants to FCT Fadama CARES COVID-19 beneficiaries held on Friday at the Kwali Area Council.
Aliyu explained that the N2.745 billion allocated to Fadama CARES was for the implementation of three Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) out of a total of 15 million dollars allocated to the FCT by the World Bank.
She said that the programme was a World Bank budget support to the FCT Administration for non-discretionary expenditure targeted at supporting existing and newly-emerging vulnerable and poor households.
Aliyu added that the programme would also support agricultural value chains, and Micro and Small Enterprises that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She maintained that the programme was to be implemented using the World Bank’s “Programme for Result’’ financing model which relatively was a new concept of project financing.
“This model requires the FCT Administration which is the beneficiary of the credit to invest its own resources first by funding delivery platforms to start implementation.
“The World Bank, thereafter, reimburses the FCTA after verification of achieved results by Independent Verification Agents in line with agreed prices and targets earlier set for all Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs),’’ she said.
The minister said the programme was deliberately designed to support the recovery of livelihood activities of poor and vulnerable persons engaged in agricultural value chain activities with special consideration for women and unemployed youths.
She directed the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat to make available to FCT Fadama CARES project, the technical expertise during the course of project implementation to ensure a successful implementation.
Earlier, FCT’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, noted that shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019, the World Bank recognised its devastating effects on the world’s economy.
He added that the Nigeria Country Office also recognised that the pandemic led to loss of lives and livelihoods in the country and found it expedient to intervene.
Adesola further stated that CARES was conceived to help states to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic.
He stressed that FCT as the nation’s capital embraced the idea and had been an active participant in the entire process from March 2020 till date.
Also, the Mandate Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, said the FCT scored 88 per cent during a very rigorous eligibility assessment process conducted by the World Bank for the programme.
He stressed that the performance placed FCT among top states that performed excellently thereby making it eligible for the receipt of higher amount of advances from the World Bank.
“It is gratifying that as a result of this excellent performance, the World Bank granted FCT a one-off advance of N100 million to support commencement of implementation of the FCT CARES programme,’’ he said.
Ibrahim added that the programme would empower 529 farmers from eight community associations across the six area councils of the FCT in the first instance. (NAN)