By: Wisdom Acka
As part of government’s
efforts to improve the wellbeing of the citizenry, the FCT Administration has commenced the disbursement of Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and
Economic Stimulus Programme (NG-CARES) funds to 14 beneficiary communities in the Territory.
The FCTA, through its Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) has presented cheques to the first batch of beneficiary communities across the six Area councils worth one hundred and forty-six million, four hundred and fifty-three thousand one hundred and three Naira (146,453,103.00) only.
The fund is a World Bank initiative designed to cushion the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents of the FCT and other participating states.
Performing the official presentation of the cheques to the beneficiary communities, having a total of 33 projects, FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, said the
program is leveraging the existing World Bank operations anchored
approaches and structures.
Bello, who was represented at the occasion by his Chief of Staff, Mallam Bashir Mai-Bornu, revealed that the FCT-CSDA formulated 14 Community Development Plans (CDP)
for implementation of projects,
comprising the rehabilitation of
primary health care centers, drilling, rehabilitation and
upgrading of boreholes and construction as well as rehabilitation
of classrooms across the six Area Councils.
He noted that following the advance of N1.1 billion NG-CARES funds by the World Bank to FCT, the Administration has commenced subsequent disbursement of this fund to its various delivery platforms, namely FCT FADAMA, Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), FCT Cash Transfer programme and the FCT-CSDA.
According to him, the objective of the program is to protect livelihoods and food security for poor and vulnerable families negatively impacted by the pandemic and facilitate the recovery of local economic activities.
He reiterated the resolve of
the FCT Administration to continue to partner with various
development partners with a view to achieving the vision of
improving the wellbeing of the people in the Territory.
His words: “It is, therefore, imperative that the direct beneficiaries not only utilize them effectively but also ensure their functionality by owning and protecting them.”
The Minister, thus, commended the FCT-CSDA and the Economic Planning, Revenue Generation (EPRG) and PPP Secretariat for the diligence with which the programme is being implemented, while urging them not to relent in their efforts to ensure that it fully meets its objectives.
Earlier, Lukman Agboola Dabiri, the Secretary, EPRG and PPP Secretariat explained that the selection of the structural projects, followed series of meetings with beneficiary communities and authorities of the Area Councils, where they agreed on what they wanted.
He added that the beauty of the programme is that the projects are not done by the government, but the respective communities, so as to take full possession and ownership.
On his part, the Etsu of Kwali in Kwali Area Council, HRH Alhaji (Dr) Audu Shaban Nizazo III described the implementation of the initiative as a welcome development, because it will bring succour to the people especially rural dwellers.
The Monarch, who represented the Ona of Abaji, while commending the FCTA and its development partners for the initiative, made case for the sustenance and expansion of the programme.