Nigerian Government and World Bank partner to deliver $750 million COVID-19 Economic and Recovery Stimulus Fund
The impact of Covid-19 on Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) was severe. Statistics show that more than 75% of MSMEs experienced a significant reduction in their revenue. About 70% of these businesses had to scale down production and lay off staff due to lesser sales and revenue.
While the government sought to protect its citizens by putting measures in place to curb the spread, it was also pertinent for the government to restore MSMEs as they contribute largely to the country’s GDP. This is why the Federal Government of Nigeria partnered with the World Bank to implement the NG-CARES project.
What is NG-CARES?
The NG-CARES is an acronym for Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Program. It is a $750 million (₦300 billion) grant to be distributed across all states in Nigeria. The purpose of this grant is to provide relief for communities, households and businesses that are adversely affected by the pandemic.
NG-CARES is a Program for Result Fund which will be executed by all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria. The objective of this grant is to protect the livelihood of vulnerable households while elevating communities and supporting the recovery of economic activity among MSMEs. This will spur economic growth in the states and the nation at large.
How will the NG-CARES Program be Implemented?
The NG-CARES program consists of three Result Areas (RAs)
– RA1: Supporting poor and vulnerable households;
– RA2: Increasing food security and
– RA3: Facilitating recovery and enhancing capabilities of MSMEs.
For each of these result areas, businesses are identified and selected by the state government, after which their data (KYC, biodata, location and images) are captured using the Bank of Industry’s (BOI) robust infrastructure and systems. After verification and approval, funds are disbursed to these businesses.
State governments and BOI continually monitor and evaluate the funded businesses to ensure accountability.
What is the role of BOI in the NG-CARES Program?
The Bank of Industry is an implementation partner for the RA3 component of the NG-CARES Program. BOI offers field infrastructure such as real-time systems and dashboards which show the details of every MSME that goes through the NG-CARES process.
BOI’s custom-built enumeration tool profiles the status of qualified beneficiaries from registration until the actual disbursement of funds. BOI also set up a Command Centre, a technology hub where the public can walk in to view real-time data of the program.
When will the NG-CARES Program Start?
The NG-CARES program has officially kicked off with its first outing in Delta State. With over 1, 800 grant beneficiaries in attendance, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa declared NG-CARES Delta live, on the 22nd of September, 2021.
The flag-off event held in Asaba was graced with dignitaries such as Mr. Olukayode Pitan, MD/CEO Bank of Industry, Chairman Aso Vaporaye, Chair, NG-CARES, Federal Technical Committee, Mrs. Orezi Esievo, Executive Secretary of Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (DEMSMA), among many others.
Over the next 24 months, the NG-CARES program will be implemented in all the states across the nation.