By Yemi Balogun
The Federal Government has expressed satisfaction with the level of Kogi State’s preparedness towards the take -off of the Nigeria COVID -19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus ( NG-CARES) Program.
The national Coordinator, NG-CARES, Dr. Abdulkarim Obaje gave the commendation when he led the Federal Government assessment team to asses KEDA, an agency saddled with the responsibility of handling the Result Area 3 (RA3)of the NG- CARES program.
Dr.Obaje says the advisory assessment visit became necessary as part of measures to check the availability of staff and quality of equipment and infrastructure that would enhance the smooth take-off of the project infer weeks time.
Dr. Obaje who described the State’s level of preparedness as fantastic affirmed that, Kogi State is one of the frontline states in terms of excellent relationship with development partners.
He says the NG-CARES program is a World Bank Assisted program that will be carried out across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT aimed at reducing the poverty level of Nigerians impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“Just few weeks ago, Kogi State was rated the second best states in Nigeria in terms of support for Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) which earned them an award from the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs.
As it is, we are preparing the State for a more rigorous assessment as we have comments, observations and advise will be given”. Dr. Obaje Observed.
Dr. Obaje commends the effort of the KEDA boss, adding that, KEDA has One of the best facilities in place.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon. Gabriel Olofu who is the statutory Board Chairman of KEDA assured the Federal team that KEDA will do justice to the program.
He says KEDA has been carrying out sensitization activities to stakeholders and prospective beneficiaries.
The Commissioner for Finance Budget and Economic Planning, Hon Ashiru Idris reiterated the State government’s resolve towards reducing the poverty rate of Kogi State, vowing that,the program would reach the core rural areas of the State.
Leading the Federal Government Assessment Team, the KEDA MD/CEO Hajiya Rekiya Sanni appreciated the team for passing a wonderful comment on the level of preparedness.
She assured that the Result Area 3 will be delivered effectively with the quality of preparations on ground and the sensitization activities carried out so far.
She says KEDA is committed to giving the SMEs in Kogi State a face lift by ensuring that the funds get to targeted beneficiaries.
According to Hajia Rekiya, KEDA has been playing advisory and support role to SMEs in the state to enhance it’s growth.
She appreciated Governor Yahaya Bello for being passionate about scaling up the livelihoods of the people in the State.