RE: NG-CARES Fund: Kwara State Government Sets the Record Straight
The attention of the Kwara State Government has been drawn to some false and malicious claims by some opposition elements that the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq siphoned over 20 Million Dollars NG-CARES Fund targeted at empowering more than three thousand small and medium scale businesses in Kwara State. This claim, which is a laughable copycat effort seen in some other states, is nothing but a theatrical display that is totally false. The agenda of these fake news purveyors is to misinform the public, malign, and smear the reputation of the Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq-led government, which has invested resources and efforts into social safety programmes in Kwara State.
Fidel Info reports that this rejoinder therefore sets the record straight while offering the characters behind the malicious claims an opportunity to be properly informed on the concept, implementation, and achievements of the NG-CARES Programme in Kwara State.
2. The idea of NG-CARES came around May 2020 during the lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of Covid-19 in Nigeria. The NG-CARES is a two-year emergency response intervention designed by the World Bank and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to assist the 36 States and FCT cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihood of the poor and the vulnerable. The core objective of the programme is to “expand access to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for vulnerable households and firms”.
3. The NG-CARES Programme is a state-budgeted intervention with support from the World Bank through a credit facility in the sum of $750 Million USD, with each participating State eligible to access an equal amount of $20 Million USD, depending on the results achieved. It is imperative to also educate the general public that the NG-CARES Programme is a Programme for Result (PforR), as opposed to the usual Independent Project Financing (IPF) approach adopted by the World Bank. This is a novel financing instrument developed by the World Bank that links the disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific programme results. It is also important to state that while the programme is a grant to beneficiaries, it is a credit facility to the State Governments.
To this effect, a Subsidiary Loan Agreement (SLA) was entered into by the State government with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning on 30th August 2021. The programme was declared effective by the World Bank on 28th September 2021.
4. The NG-CARES Programme is being implemented in Kwara State by the following Delivery Platforms: the State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU); Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW); Kwara State Community and Social Development Agency (KWCSDA), Kwara State FADAMA Coordinating Office; and Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP). The Kwara State CARES Coordinating Unit (SCCU) in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development provides institutional support to the implementing units.
5. As a participating State, Kwara State, like other States, was expected to meet the eligibility criteria set by the World Bank. In the end, the State was eligible for a DLI advance of N900 Million, which was released in March 2022. Thus far, the total sum of N1,418,314,964 has been expended on the NG-CARES Programme in Kwara State, out of which only N900,000,000 was provided by the World Bank. The sum of N518,314,964 was provided by the State Government towards implementing the Programme.
6. It is apt to state at this point that being a programme designed by the World Bank, the NG-CARES Programme is being implemented in strict adherence to the domesticated Operations Manual of the Programme. The Kwara State CARES Operations Manual was cleared by the World Bank. Being a Programme For Result, any State that implements the programme outside of the dictate of the Operations Manual is at risk of forfeiting the reimbursement from the World Bank.
7. For the programme, Kwara State subscribed to 8 of the 11 programmes designed by the World Bank. The following are the results achieved so far by the Kwara State government under the implementing agencies:
S/N Implementing Agencies Achievement
1 State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU) 1690 Beneficiaries receiving N20,000 Bi-Monthly
2. Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) 1025 Youths Engaged in Social Service receiving N10,000 Monthly.
3 Kwara State Community and Social Development Agency (KWCSDA) 35 Micro-Projects has been executed in 9 Local Governments in areas of health, water and sanitation.
4. Kwara State FADAMA Coordinating Office 6561 Farmers have benefitted from agric inputs and assets across the 16 LGAs of the State.
5. Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) 688 Small and Micro Businesses across the 16 LGAs supported with an operational grant in the range of N200,000 and N700,000.
8. The allegation by some opposition elements that the actual amount designed by the Federal Government was N3.2 Million or N3.5 million (as they variously claimed in self-contradiction) to MSMEs is false and concocted misinformation. This is nothing but a figment of their imagination. This falls under Result Area 3 being implemented by the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) which supported a total number of 688 Small and Micro Businesses with operational grants size of between N200,000.00 and N700,000.00 in the 16 Local Government Areas of the State. This is in tandem with the World Bank approved NG-CARES Operations Manual. This is contrary to the false claims that businesses were given peanuts of N15,000.00 each.
9. In addition, the NG-CARES Programme embraced transparency right from the application processes to the disbursement in collaboration with the Bank of Industry.
KWASSIP deployed an online portal where interested businesses provided documents and records of their businesses, while the Bank of Industry (BOI) was mandated with scrutinising their documents and disbursing to the eligible businesses. Through different news media, interested members of the public were adequately sensitized to register their businesses through the portal. The choice of BOI was to ensure that every application was treated based on their merit. All of the 688 businesses selected as first batch of beneficiaries were based on meeting the required eligibility criteria as stipulated in the Kwara State CARES Operations Manual.
10. At this juncture, it is germane to state that as one of the best-performing States, Kwara State was chosen by the World Bank for a Technical Support Mission to help other participating States learn from the modus operandi of the NG-CARES Programme in Kwara State.
11. Finally, we would like to enjoin members of the public to ignore the mischief being peddled by these opposition elements on the programme. The unfounded claim is an attempt to mislead the public as well as distract the good works of His Excellency Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, especially in the area of social safety investment. The first assessment by the Independent Verification Agents appointed by the World Bank was just recently concluded. Thereafter, the state government is expected to be reimbursed of its resources already invested into the programme in line with the verifications by the IVA.
However, the state government would not allow itself to be distracted by the noise of the mischief-makers in NG-CARES implementation since the programme implementation is expected to continue after the reimbursement.
JUST-IN: Makinde Sacks Auxilliary, Other Park Management Chiefs In Oyo
The Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has ordered the dissolution of the Disciplinary Committee, Park Management System (PMS) headed by Alhaji Mukaila Auxiliary.
The newly appointed Chief of Staff to the Governor, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, May 29, 2023, said the dissolution was with immediate effect.
The terse statement reads, “I have the directive of the Executive Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde to inform you of the dissolution of the Disciplinary Committee, Park Management System with immediate effect from today, Monday, 29th May, 2023
Henry Dele Alake: The Scintillating Profile of President Tinubu’s Chief Press Secretary
Henry Dele Alake, a prominent figure in Nigerian journalism and politics, has been appointed as the Chief Press Secretary to President Tinubu. Born on October 6, 1956, in Ekiti State, Alake is currently 66 years old. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to democratic values, activism, and public service.
Alake’s journey in activism began under the mentorship of the late Chief MKO Abiola. He played a pivotal role in the controversial 1993 election, which was unfortunately annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida, the then military president. Despite facing oppression and terrorization, Alake fearlessly advocated for justice and the preservation of democratic principles.
Between 1999 and 2007, Alake served as the Commissioner for Information and Strategy to Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of Lagos State. During this period, he contributed significantly to the development and growth of the state, effectively communicating the government’s policies and initiatives to the public.
Currently, Alake holds the position of Director of Media and Communication of The Tinubu Campaign Council, supporting the presidential aspirations of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the upcoming 2023 election.
Education played a crucial role in Alake’s path to success. He attended Surulere Baptist Primary School in Lagos for his elementary education, followed by Christ’s School Ado Ekiti for his West African School Certificate. He furthered his studies at Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, where he obtained his Higher School Certificate in 1975. In the same year, he enrolled at the University of Lagos, Akoka, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and later pursued a master’s degree in Mass Communications.
Alake embarked on his professional career as a journalist after completing his education. He began as a Senior Sub-Editor at the Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation (LSBC) after a year of national service with the Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC). Over the years, he held various positions in journalism, including Current Affairs Officer, Senior Current Affairs Officer, and Principal Current Affairs Officer. Alake played a vital role in the establishment of Lagos Television (LTV 8).
In 1985, Alake transitioned to print journalism, joining the Concord Press as an editor and writer for the National Concord and Sunday Concord newspapers. He became the editor of Sunday Concord in 1989 and continued in that position until 1995. During this period, he also served as a columnist for the National Concord.
Alake’s career took a significant turn when he became Chief MKO Abiola’s Adviser on Information, contributing to his election campaign for the 1993 general election. His dedication to Abiola’s cause led to confrontations and oppression from the dictatorial regime of General Sani Abacha. Faced with immense pressure, Alake went into exile, actively engaging with other prominent figures in the National Democratic Coalition of Nigeria (NADECO), such as Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Senator Bola Tinubu, Chief John Oyegun, and Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (Rtd.).
Returning to Nigeria’s political landscape, Alake’s talents and expertise were recognized by Governor Bola Tinubu, who appointed him as his Special Adviser on Information and Strategy. He later served as the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy during Tinubu’s tenure as governor.
In 2010, Alake declared his intention to contest for the senatorial seat of Ekiti Central in Ekiti State. However, due to intra-party crises within his political party at that time, he decided to withdraw from the aspiration.
In preparation for the 2015 general election, Alake was appointed as the Director of Media and Communication for the Buhari Campaign Organization, supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential ambition.
Continuing his involvement in political campaigns, Alake currently holds the position of Director of Media and Communication for The Tinubu Campaign Council, supporting Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential aspirations in the upcoming 2023 general election.
While information about his marital life remains private, it is worth noting that one of his children, Olatunbosun Alake, serves as the Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwoolu.
Alake’s contributions to journalism and politics have earned him several notable achievements. He is a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, where he once served as Vice President. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the West African Union of Journalists. In 2000, he received the prestigious Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) International Gold Award, recognizing his exceptional contributions to society.
Henry Dele Alake’s multifaceted career and unwavering commitment to democracy and public service have left an indelible mark on Nigeria’s media landscape and political sphere. His dedication to his craft and his tireless advocacy for justice and transparency serve as an inspiration to aspiring journalists and politicians across the nation.
President Tinubu Makes First Appointments with Alake, Adeleke and Dada
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed Mr Dele Alake as his spokesperson hours after he took oath of office on Monday.
Mr Alake is a long-time associate of Mr Tinubu. He served as his Commissioner of Information and Strategy from 1999 to 2007 while he was Lagos State governor.
The president also appointed Ambassador Kunle Adeleke as the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP) to the President.
The APC National Youth Leader Olusegun Dada was named as Special Assistant to the President on Digital Media.
The appointments add with immediate effect, it was learned
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