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14 November 2020

Inauguration Ceremony of the Federal Cares Steering and Technical Committees

Speech by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed at the inauguration of the Federal N-CARES Steering and Technical Committee (Photo Album Included)

It is my pleasure to be with you at the auspicious occasion of the inauguration of the Federal Steering Committee and Federal Technical Committee of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery for Economic Stimulus (N-CARES).

2.     I want to start by appreciating the visionary leadership of our dear President, Muhammed Buhari GCFR in following up with his promise of ensuring that 100 million Nigerians are lifted out of poverty within 10 years. It is on the premise of this agenda of Mr. President that we are here today.


3.     The diverse and severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the world with significant consequences on informal businesses, and households that survive on daily income and the peasant farmers who depend on their farm produce to survive. This key population make up over 60% of our entire population in Nigeria therefore, the need to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the vulnerable sectors through the provision of palliatives and stimulus package.

4.    Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the Federal Government has created several windows of interventions as captured in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) inaugurated by Mr. President, Muhammad Buhari GCFR, on March 30, 2020 to among other things respond robustly and appropriately to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, identify fiscal measures to enhance oil and non-oil government revenues and reduce non-essential spending.

5.    As part of windows of opportunity to mitigate the effect of Covid-19, the Federal Government is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of $750 million on behalf of the states to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable household’s consumption.

6.    To ensure that implementation of the N-CARES is in line with the Federal Government Priorities as outlined in the Economic Sustainability Plan, the Federal Steering Committee made up of Ministers and Permanent Secretaries as well as a Technical Committee made up of Directors of key MDAs has to be in place. The Government has carefully selected you as members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important role your MDAs plays in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty; and I have no doubt you can deliver. 

7.    Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the inauguration of your committee is expedient given the nature of this emergency intervention; Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa cannot afford to remain in recession; the survival of over 200 million population is germane to all we do and we must address the concerns of the majority of our populace. Let me remind you that the consequences will be too high if we ignore the root cause of rising civil unrest in our country. We must therefore, fashion out ways of ensuring that post Covid-19 is not injurious to the Nigerian people and the economy.

8.    Ladies and Gentlemen, as members of the Federal Steering Committee your major role will be to provide an overall policy direction for the implementation of this programme and advise the President appropriately. While, the Federal Technical Committee will be responsible for the programme oversight, overall guidance, support, coordination, Strategic direction, review and approval of the annual work programme as well as budget for the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU).

9.    Against this backdrop, my task here today is to inaugurate you so that we can hit the ground running to ensure that the directives of Mr. President are achieved within the set timelines.


10.    Let me inform this forum of the members of the Steering Committee of the Nigeria CARES Programme:
Hon. Minister of State (BNP) FMFBNP- Chairman, 
HMS-Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD)
HMS-Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI)
HMS-Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FMLE)
HMS-Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv)
HMS-Federal Ministry of Education (FME)  
Permanent Secretary, Budget & National Planning (BNP)
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance (BNP)
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs (MHDMSD)
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR)
Executive Director NGF Secretariat
Chairman Federal CARES Technical Team (FMFBNP) – Secretariat


11.    Dear colleagues, permit me also to read out the Terms of Reference for your guidance in your assignments; your committee shall: 
Provide overall strategic and policy guidance for the implementation of the programme;
Reviewing Operation performance annually and provide feedback to government at both federal and state levels and;
Garnering support for the operation as further specified in the Operations manual. 


12.    I also want to inform this forum of the members of the Federal Technical Committee to rise and be inaugurated:
         Director Economic Growth (BNP) FMFBNP - Chairman
         Director-Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD)
         Director-Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR)
         Director-Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (FMITI)
         Director-Ministry of Humanitarian, Disaster Management & Soc. Dev. (MHDMSD)
         Director-Federal Ministry of Education (FME)
         Director-Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv)
         Director-Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA)
         Director-Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FMLE)
         Director-International Economic Relation Department (IERD) FMFBNP
         Director-Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
         Director-Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Secretariat
         Assistant Director-Economic Growth Department (BNP) FMFBNP
         Federal CARES Support Unit - Secretariat


13.    While standing, let me also reiterate your Terms of Reference as follows:
Providing technical oversight and guidance for program operation implementation;
Reviewing and approving annual work program and budget for the FCSU;
Reviewing project operation performance, accounting and audit reports and ensuring implementation of decisions taken by the FCSC;
Conducting performance review of key FCSU staff;
Garnering support for National CDD policy;
Undertaking Advocacy and Sensitization of the Nigeria CARES programme to Nigerian; and
Approving amendments to the Operations manual and the overall Programme Implementation Plan for the operations as further specified in the Operation manual.


14.    DECLARATION: I hereby formally inaugurate the Federal CARES Steering Committee and Federal CARES Technical Committee respectively.

15.    I look forward to the effective implementation of the programme. I therefore, encourage you to deploy your wealth of experiences and expertise to ensure the successful takeoff and implementation of the N-CARES programme.

16.    I wish you success in this very important assignment.

17.    Thank you.