Rivers Launches COVID-19 Action Recovery, Economic Stimulus Programme
Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Government has launched the State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV- CARES) programme.
The programme, accordingly, is intended to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor and vulnerable households, support micro and small-scale enterprises as a means of stimulating the economic growth in a post-COVID-19 era.
Launching the programme yesterday at the NBA Secretariat in Port Harcourt, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said the programme would create awareness for the Rivers’ people and engender expression of interest by beneficiary households, communities and operators of micro and small businesses (SMEs).
Banigo, who launched the programme while representing the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, encouraged the people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by RIV-CARES to enhance their means of livelihood and reduce the spate of poverty in their communities.
According to the deputy governor, the state government had made provisions in the 2022 budget for result areas, and signed ‘Funds Release Policy’, which is an assurance to the World Bank for funds to be released for the implementation of the programme.
She commended the World Bank and the Federal CARES for their support to the state.
In her remarks, Mrs. Titilola Kuna Cline, the permanent secretary of the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, explained that the World Bank in partnership with the federal and the state governments introduced the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme.
Cline said the aim was to better the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on livelihood, food security and micro and small businesses.
The permanent secretary said the state scaled through rigorous preparatory stages and qualified to participate in the programme whose objective is “to expand access to livelihood support and food security services, as well as grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms.”
Also speaking, the representative of the World Bank, Mr. Aso Vakporaye, said the programme must succeed in order to kick our poverty from the state, and thanked Governor Wike for making it possible for Rivers State to participate in the programme.