By Jennifer John

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has expressed optimism that within the next 24 months the objective of the covid-19 action recovery and economic stimulus programme known as NG-CARE programme would have been realized.

The governor said this while flagging off the public sensitization, training and implementation of the Nigeria covid-19 action recovery and economic stimulus (NG-CARES ) programme at the Ahiajoku Convention Centre, Owerri on Monday,

He said the primary objective of the programme was to ensure food security through three component parts; distribution of seeds & fertilizers, livestock and extension services.

The Governor said that the state government through the FADAMA and working with approved World Bank guidelines is driving the process.

“On the part of government, we shall tackle the NG- cares with the same zeal and determination with which we fought the disease itself. You can recall that covid 19 pandemic almost welcomed us into the office but through proactive measures and single minded determination, we were able to discharge our responsibility to the people.”

The governor warned that the programme must not be abused but focus on the targeted poor and vulnerable households, not the families of the programme facilitators.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Finance and Cordinating Economy, Dr. Mrs Doris Uzoka Anite, who heads the state steering committee on NG-CARES, said the project was a world Bank performance for Result (P for R) intervention, targeted at rendering economic protection to the poor and vulnerable households, including the newly poor due to the covid 19 pandemic.

She stressed that it was a reimbursement programme that would make the state government fund projects to reinvigorate the micro economic sector of the state and have the World Bank reimburse it after that.

Anite disclosed that participating states who did well in the first phase would receive $20million Dollars and additional $20million for achieving the expected result.

The finance commissioner pointed out that the state government set a bureau for coordinating donor assisted projects to ensure that all implementation units carry out the activities fairly and honestly, so that those who need the intervention benefits.

She also hinted that the NG-CARES has been domesticated as the Imo Covid 19 action recovery and economic stimulus (Imo- cares), which will operate a help desk to ensure no target person was left out.

“Selecting beneficiaries would be from the state social register, poverty map and the collaboration of the traditional rulers, PGs, women leaders and youth leaders of the 637 communities, under a community drive development (CDD) approach and is expected to last for two years.”

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