The Rivers State government has launched the state COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) program.
State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike conducted the launch at the NBA Secretariat in Port Harcourt yesterday.
Speaking through his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the Governor said the program aims to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable households and support micro and small businesses as a way to drive post-COVID economic growth.
According to the Chief Executive of the State, “The State Government has signed the program, made provisions in the 2022 budget for the outcome areas and signed the fund release policy, which is an insurance for the World Bank that the funds will be released for the implementation of the program”.
Wike said the launch of the RIV-CARES program will raise awareness and generate interest among beneficiary households, communities, and micro and small enterprise (SME) operators in the state.
The governor, who encouraged the people of Rivers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by RIV-CARES to improve their livelihoods and reduce the tide of poverty in the communities, commended the World Bank and the federal CARES for their support to the State.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Titilola Kuna Cline, said that in an effort to verify the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods, food security and micro and small enterprises, the world The Bank, in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and State Governments, has launched the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme.
She said the state had gone through rigorous preparatory steps and qualified to participate in the program whose goal was “to expand access to livelihood and food security support services, as well as subsidies for poor and vulnerable households and businesses”.
According to her, the steps include the signing of a subsidiary loan agreement and the government release of funds policy.
Others include the creation of the RIV-CARES Steering Committee, the creation of the State-CARES Coordination Unit housed in the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, and the preparation of a work plan.
“The NG-CARES, after the domestication of the program implementation manual now known as the RIV-CARES program, has the State Coordination Unit (SCU) responsible for coordinating the implementation of the program RIV-CARES in the state and report to the Federal-CARES Support Unit and the world. Bank in Abuja.
“It is also a bridge between the delivery platforms and the State-CARES steering committee and for the delivery platform in three result areas (RA1-3).
Cline listed the three areas to include the Cash Transfer Unit, Labor-Intensive Public Works, and Community-Driven Social Development (CDD-S) Plus.
The others are, FADAMA and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
Also speaking, the representative of the World Bank, Mr. Aso Vakporaye, said that the program must be successful in order to eradicate poverty from the state, considering that failure to eradicate poverty would make life difficult for all citizens.
So he thanked the governor for allowing Rivers State to participate in the program.
Likewise, the World Bank and the Federal Government have ranked Rivers State highly in the implementation of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus program by the state government.
The representative of the World Bank Task Team Leader, Mr. Aso Vakporaye said this yesterday in Port Harcourt during the official launch and implementation of the Rivers State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus program ( RIV-CARES) in the state.
Vakporaye, who is also the Chairman of the Federal Technicians-CARES Committee of the Federal Government, confirmed that Rivers State has met the requirements for the implementation of the program.
He said that there is still a lot to do, adding that the state must release more money for the implementation of the program.
Also speaking, the Technical Head of the CARES Coordination Unit and the Secretary of the RIV-CARESS Steering Committee, Ms. Imaonyeni Ephraim, said the program will improve the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable people in the state.
She said the two-year program was open to many beneficiaries.
The flag was raised by the Deputy Governor of the State, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, on behalf of Governor Nyesom Wike.
From: Jean Bibor