Plateau to benefit from N8b World Bank COVID-19 economic stimulus fund

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By Anthony Maliki

In preparation for the implementation of the World Bank funded COVID-19 Action Economic Stimulus Program for Result (NG-CARES), Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has inaugurated a Steering Committee that will supervise the implementation of the program in the State.

While inaugurating the Steering Committee at the Government House, Rayfield, Jos, the Governor said Plateau State is fully ready to participate in the implementation of the Program which is financed by the World Bank and has fulfilled the requirements to access to $20 million dollars (over 8 billion naira) from the $750 million dollars granted to the Federal Government to address the negative consequences of Covid-19 on our economy.

He said “we are all witnesses to the fact that Covid-19 has severely affected the lives of our citizens and that of the State in General. This has exposed poor and vulnerable households to challenges in multiple fronts. These include job losses; losses in business incomes; food insecurity; and general inability to obtain basic services for day to day living. This is even worsened by the drastic fall in Government revenues”.

Lalong said the programme is commendable as it will assist the State to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. In ensuring that our people benefit, Plateau State opted to implement all the three Result Areas of the programme because of their expected social intervention impacts on the economy.

The Governor said over 60,129 citizens of Plateau State are expected to benefit from the project which has the potential of transforming the landscape of the State economy.

Among other things, the State CARES Steering Committee (SCSC) will be responsible for providing oversight direction to the implementing agencies; approving their work plans and budgets; ensuring that funds are released to delivery platforms in accordance with the funds flow agreement; as well as ensuring that there is full compliance with the Program Appraisal Document.

Lalong also warned that his administration will not tolerate failure “I shall be personally monitoring your activities to ensure that the State gets maximum benefit from its participation. Any act of non-performance or willful sabotage will not be tolerated in this program. Since this is an emergency operation with clearly spelled out guidelines, each platform should work within the confine of its responsibilities to avoid task conflict which could affect performance” he said.

He thanked the World Bank Task Team leader Prof. Folosho Okunmodewa and the National Coordinator for NG-CARES Dr. Abubakar Obaje for their commitment and support for the takeoff of the project.

Chairman of the Committee and Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning Mr. Sylvester Wallangko while responding on behalf of other members said they will put in their best to achieve the objectives of the programme. He said it is a golden opportunity for the Lalong Rescue Administration to further push forward its vision for Economic Rebirth by promoting entrepreneurship and job creation.

Members of the Plateau State CARES  Steering Committee are:

1.MR SYLVESTER WALLANGKO, HON COMMISSIONER, MINISTRY OF BUDGET AND ECONOMIC PLANNING(CHAIRMAN)

2.DR (MRS) REGINA SOEMLAT, HON COMMISSIONER, MINISTRY OF FINANCE(MEMBER)
3.DR ISTIFANUS FINANGWAI, HON COMMISSIONER, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE(MEMBER)
4.MR JOSEPH ABE AKUHON COMMISSIONER MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRIES(MEMBER)
5.DR (MRS) SUMAYE HAMZA, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/FOCAL PERSON SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME(MEMBER)
6.SUNDAY BIGGS, PERMANENT SECRETARY GOVERNMENT HOUSE(MEMBER)
7.DR AMOS AKIMS, BOARD CHAIRMAN CSDA (MEMBER)
8.MR DAVID DASER, DIRECTOR GENERAL PLATEAU INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY(MEMBER)
9.MR HAGGAI HARUNA GUTAP, HEAD, STATE CARES COORDINATING UNIT(SECRETARY)
10.SAMUEL DAMLACOORDINATOR, SDGs, PLATEAU STATE (MEMBER)

The State CARES Coordinating Committee (SCCU) and Technical Implementation Team (TIT) will soon be constituted.

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