The Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (NG-CARES) claims to have disbursed N35.3 billion to all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to help them improve their performance.
Dr Abdulkarim Obaje, the National Coordinator of NG-CARES, made the announcement on Friday in Abuja at a training for Monitoring and Evaluation Officers, Heads of Delivery Platforms in all states, and Heads of States Cares Coordination Units.
Obaje stated that the funds were a gift to all states, stressing that the initiative was part of the World Bank’s performance program for outcomes funding framework.
The advance, which ranged from N500 million to N1.3 billion, was handed to all of the federation’s states, according to the coordinator.
”Implementation has started in many states as we speak, some few states already have results because even achievements of results prior to the effective take up of the project is considered as part of what will be reimbursed when the Independent Verification Agents visit the states.
”As we speak today, all the 36 states of the federation and FCT are now effective and resources have been disbursed to all the 36 states amounting to N35.3 billion.
”And the states are expected to post specific results in line with the Delivery Link Indicators (DLI) that they have selected for themselves.
“It is on the basis of satisfactory that the payment of these result is supposed to be reimbursed, but the Federal Government in its wisdom and the World Bank have agreed to give the states some advance.
”And this advance ranges from N500 million to N1.3 billion and this has been given to all the states as we speak.
”So the results with effect from 2020 are also considered so we have quite a lot of such results across the states that are participating.”
Obaje, on the other hand, stated that while not all states had earlier findings, numerous them have, and that these will be evaluated for reimbursement when the Independent Verification Agent arrives.
He explained that the advance was intended to allow states to accomplish sufficient outcomes so that when the Independent Verification Agent arrived to check their DLI, resources would be made available to do more.
He stated that the existing resources flowing to the state are a step forward, and that NG-CARES encouraged all state governments to increase their resources.
”So that the price money and the gains that will come after independent verified agent assessment will be bountiful to enable them to continue implementation.
”It is a two-year programme, expected to close in June 2023 and there is a lot yet to be done so we need a lot of resources to enable state meet up.
”What we are interested in is quality data and integrity of the data that are generated at the state level is of utmost importance to us.”
The goal of the training, according to Obaje, was to provide first-hand understanding of the Monitoring and Evaluation Manual, which was established in collaboration with the states.
”We train them on how the manual will operate, what are the template to be used; what are the regularity of reporting, how should a report be sent to us and most importantly, we are now in an ICT- driven world.
”So we have a high dose of Information Technology Integration into submission of report from the data and all that.
”So we are taken them through some software that has been designed to fast track the process of submitting report to the state and to the Federal Government for consolidation.”
Mr Aso Vakporaye, Chairman of the Federal Cares Technical Committee, had earlier stated that the initiative was targeted at reducing the impact of COVID-19 on the poor and vulnerable.
“The unique components of the programme is a programme for result, so it is not like the usual take money and go. You work first, then you show your results.
”After evaluation and verification, then you will be reimbursed for what you have done.”
Lady Patience Ogbewe, the Head of State Cares Coordinating Units in Delta State, spoke on behalf of the participants, saying that the workshop had taught them how to collect trustworthy data for the program’s efficient implementation.
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