The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, performed the inauguration of the Steering Committee of the State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (EK-CARES) Programme. The State CARES Programme which is a jointly developed, World Bank Supported Programme, is aimed at mitigating the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socio-economic well-being of Ekiti people.
According to the Governor, the project was designed to support budgeted government interventions at the state level—targeting existing and newly vulnerable and poor households, farmers, artisans and micro and small enterprises (MSEs) affected by the economic crisis occasioned by the pandemic.
"The State's Steering Committee which comprises of nine (9) members drawn from relevant MDAs in the State shall be saddled with the responsibility of providing policy direction and perform oversight functions across all the programme results areas and would also be responsible for reviewing and approving annual work plans for all the delivery units of the program," said the Governor.
Outlining the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy arising from the global lockdown and its severed negative impact on livelihood and food security of Nigerians across the economic sectors, the Governor said the Federal Government in collaboration with the World Bank and the Nigeria Governors Forum developed the State Cares Programme to cushion the effect of the pandemic most especially on the most vulnerable segment of the Nigerian population.
In implementing the programme in Ekiti State, Dr. Fayemi said his Government would work through the State CARES Steering Committee to achieve the following among others:
∙ Enhanced delivery of social safety net, social assistance and basic services;
∙ Increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chain;
∙ Facilitating recovery of household and micro enterprises and preventing their collapse.
Governor Fayemi therefore enjoyed members of the committee to see the appointment as another Call to Duty, in the service of the State.
"You were chosen based on your pedigree, commitment and dedication to duties. It is expected that you would endeavor to strengthen the implementation platforms in accordance with the guidelines and the MOU signed with the World Bank on the programme," he said.
Members of the Committee include Hon. Femi Ajayi (Commissioner for Budget & Economic Planning) – Chairman; Mrs. Margaret Fagboyo, (Special Adviser, Development Partnership/SDGs) – Vice-Chairperson;
Prof. Bolaji Aluko, (DG/SA, Office of Transformation) - member; Chief. Biodun Akin Fasae, (Chairman, Ekiti State Community & Social Development Agency) – member; Mr. James Babasola Folorunso, (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Economic development) – Member; Engr. Oluwagbenga Odesanmi (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security) – Member; Mr. Adeleke Adefolaju, (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning) – Member and Mrs. Bukola Ogunlade (Head, State Care Coordinating Unit)–Secretary.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Committee and Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Femi Ajayi said the NG-CARES Programme was a World Bank Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for social protection designed at re-engineering the Nation’s economic base that might have been distorted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed further that the Programme Development Objective amongst others, includes the access of poor people to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households, and recovery of Small and Medium Enterprises in the state and Nigeria at large.
The Special Adviser, Development Partnership/SDGs) and Vice-Chairperson of the committee, Mrs. Margaret Fagboyo, thanked the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for his proactive response to the challenge right from the outset as well as the effective management of the Covid scourge in Ekiti State.
"I want to commend your Excellency for acting ahead of your peers by setting necessary machinery in motion on time, constituting the State Covid 19 Taskforce and also the Response Resource Mobilization Committee set up to mobilize resources and manage these resources to cushion the effect of the pandemic in Ekiti State. The result is clear for all to see today."
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