The Federal Government and World Bank have certified Cross River Government’s readiness towards the implementation of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) programme.
The Federal Government and World Bank Assessment and Advisory team, led by Dr Abdulateef Shittu, certified the state after an assessment of facilities and interaction with the state’s Steering Committee of the programme.
During a courtesy call on the Deputy Governor of Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu, in Calabar, Shittu said that the team was impressed with the state readiness for the kick off.
He disclosed that the programme will kick off by the first week of August across the 36 states of the federation.
“In view of the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the world and crumbled people’s means of livelihood, the Federal Government of Nigeria had to seek the intervention of the World Bank for support.
“This programme will stimulate the economy of Nigeria, provide food security and enhance livelihoods. The programme will last for two years.
“From our assessment so far, I must say that Cross River is more than ready to kick-start this programme. We are impressed with what we have seen so far.
“I want to specially commend the Chairman of the State Steering Committee, Dr Inyang Asibong, for her commitment and hard work towards the success of this programme,” he said.
Responding, Asibong, who is also the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, mentioned the three result areas of the programme to include livelihood, agriculture and the micro, small and medium enterprises.
The Commissioner said that the state was ready for the implementation of the programme with a view to improve the living standard of residents, promote agricultural produce and enhance small businesses.
She disclosed that the heads of various units of the programme were ready to ensure a seamless take off of the programme in the state.
“We are happy that the team from the Federal Government and World Bank have come to assess us and have found us worthy and ready for the take off.
“This intervention from the World Bank will surely complement the humanitarian work of Gov. Ben Ayade of the state.
“The programme will drive us out of poverty, stimulate our economy and provide food security accordingly,” she said.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor thanked the Federal Government for keying into the programme and to the World Bank for their financial support.