… as minister flags off grant disbursement
By Muhammad Abdullahi
The FCT Administration has allocated the sum of $4.5Million amounting to N2.745Billion to the FCT Fadama COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) project for the implementation of three Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) out of a total allocation of $15Million from the World Bank.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, made this disclosure at the flag-off ceremony for the disbursement of grants to FCT Fadama COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus beneficiaries held in Kwali, Abuja.
The minister explained that the programme is a World Bank budget support to the FCT Administration for non-discretionary expenditure which is targeted at supporting existing and newly emerging vulnerable and poor households, agricultural value chains, and Micro & Small Enterprises (MSEs) that have been negatively impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Aliyu maintained that the programme was to be implemented using the World Bank Programme for Result (P for R) financing model which is a relatively new concept of projects financing.
According to her, “This model requires the FCT Administration who is the beneficiary of the credit to invest its own resources first by funding delivery platforms to start implementation, while the World Bank thereafter reimburses the FCTA after verification of achieved results by Independent Verification Agents (IVAs) in line with agreed prices and targets earlier set for all Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs)”.
The minister said that 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 to women and unemployed youth.
She, therefore, directs 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 the successful implementation of the programme.
While speaking, FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, noted that shortly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019, the World Bank Nigeria Country office, recognizing the devastating effects of the pandemic on the world’s economy and Nigeria in particular, which led to loss of lives and livelihoods, found it expedient to intervene.
Adesola further stated that the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus programme was conceived to help states mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic, stressing that FCT as the nation’s capital embraced this noble idea and has been an active participant during the entire process of the programme preparatory activities from March 2020 till date.
Meanwhile, the Secretary FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, informed the audience that the FCT performed excellently scoring 88 percent during a very rigorous eligibility assessment process conducted by the World Bank for this programme.
He stressed that the performance placed FCT among the top bracket of states that performed excellently thereby making them eligible for the receipt of higher amount of advances from the World Bank.
“It is gratifying to note that as a result of this excellent performance, the World Bank granted FCT a one-off advance in the sum of one hundred million naira only to support commencement of implementation of the FCT CARES programme,” he affirmed.
He disclosed that the event would empower at first instance, 529 farmers from eight community associations across the six area councils, adding that the disbursement of grants would not have been possible without the unflinching commitment of the FCT Administration towards ensuring the successful implementation of FCT Fadama CARES project.