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Governor Inuwa Launches 8.5bn COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus

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… To Support 288,700 Households, Farmers, Small Scale Businesses

…Beneficiaries Receive Livelihood Grants, Social Transfers, Others

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya says the newly launched Gombe State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (GO- CARES) aligns with his administration’s human capital development initiative as encapsulated in the ten-year Development Agenda for Gombe State (DEVAGOM).

The programme is to gulp the sum of N8.5 billion and targeted towards supporting not fewer than 288,700 beneficiaries in the two-year duration of the programme.

The Governor who stated this at the flag-off of the project in Kuri, Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area, added that the emergency recovery programme, will support governments’ budgeted programme of expenditures and interventions specifically designed to expand access to livelihood support, food security and provide succour to the poor and vulnerable persons in communities whose lives, businesses, jobs and means of livelihood have been distorted by the pandemic.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya observed that “being a domestication of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery Stimulus Programme (NG-CARES), the programme will help expand access to livelihood support, food security services and the provision of grants to poor and vulnerable households and firms following the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

He explained that the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and livelihood of the people cannot be over emphasised as Governments across the globe suffered economic recessions with livelihoods disrupted and millions of jobs lost in an unprecedented manner which makes the CARES programme not only timely but essential.

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The Director-General (Press Affairs) at the Government House, Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, in a statement added that Governor Inuwa Yahaya remarked that the challenges of COVID-19 and the global economic meltdown have made his administration to be more strategic and focused in its drive of putting the State on the path of sustainable economic development.

“Today’s ceremony is a major step at putting the vulnerable groups that were worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on the path of recovery and growth, with the disbursement of funds to the beneficiaries who have met the World Bank’s stipulated eligibility criteria.

“These groups and individuals shall receive livelihood grants, social transfers, soft loans as well as improved access to basic services in order to support economic recovery, boost food production and enhance livelihood of the people”.

The Gombe State Governor said in order to ensure maximum benefit from the programme, existing state-level delivery platforms with a track record of generating positive human capital development and economic returns for beneficiaries will be used for the implementation of the interventions.

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These platforms, the Governor explained, will be reinforced with a state level Steering Committee comprising of political and technical heads of key sectoral ministries and policy heads of agencies constituted to provide oversight and policy guidance for the programme in order to achieve greater results and the overall programme development objective.

“The programme has a budgeted sum of about N8.5 billion which is targeted towards supporting not less than 288,700 beneficiaries in the two-year duration of the programme.

“From this amount, N3.4 billion will be for supporting poor and vulnerable households with grants and basic services, another N3.4 billion shall be used to support our farmers with farm inputs in order to increase food production and enhance performance of the food supply value chain. The sum of N1.7 billion shall be disbursed as grants to MSME’s to support their operational activities and help them recover from the huge losses suffered during the pandemic”.

He expressed the firm belief that those charged with the responsibility of implementing GOMBE – CARES will be faithful in executing the mandate so that the desired results are achieved, bearing in mind that this is a result-oriented programme, assuring that his administration is committed towards providing all necessary administrative and operational support to ensure a hitch free implementation in the state.

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The Chairman of the State Steering Committee for GO-CARES, MUhammad Gambo Magaji said the stimulus will benefit the most vulnerable households, farmers, business men and women as well as artisans.

Gambo Magaji, who is also the Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, revealed that the project is in collaboration with the world Bank but is fully funded by the Gombe State Government.

“Please let us note that this is a Gombe State project. It is not a Federal Government project so please the emphasis is GO-CARES it is for Gombe, for the people of Gombe and for the benefit of the people of Gombe”.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Chairman of Yalmatu Deba Local Government Counvil, Hon. Shuaibu Umar Galadima commended Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for churning out policies, programmes and initiatives that have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the State.

He said the GO-CARES programme will go a long way to mitigate the economic hardships being faced by individual households, businesses and farmers whose livelihoods where shattered due to the social and economic impact of the covid-19 Pandemic.

Highlights of the event included symbolic presentation of cheques, farm implements and other support items to the selected eligible beneficiaries.

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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