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NG-CARES Commends Gov. Ugwuanyi On Transparency, Prudent Management Of Resources

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ENUGU– Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) yesterday gave Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State a pat on the back for his administration’s prudent management of public resources in the state.

The Federal Government body, saddled with the responsibility of expanding access to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms, also applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration for observing due process in the management of resources and other administrative engagements.

They lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for enthroning prudence, probity and accountability in the state.

Addressing newsmen when the Management Team of NG-CARES paid an advocacy visit to Gov. Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu, which culminated in a meeting with the State Executive Council (EXCO), the National Coordinator of NG-CARES, Dr. Abdulkarim Obaje, disclosed that they were impressed with what they observed in Enugu State in terms of due process and prudent management of public resources by the state government as well as its commitment to the success of the programme in the state.

Dr. Obaje explained that the NG-CARES programme “is a 750 million dollars credit facility from the World Bank to cushion the negative impact of COVID-19 on the poor and the vulnerable in Nigeria”.

He added that all the 36 states of the federation are participating in the programme, disclosing that “each state is entitled to a sum of N20 million dollars at the end of the programme in June 2023″.

Speaking on the outcome of their meeting with the State EXCO, NG-CARES National Coordinator disclosed that the “EXCO has given wonderful approval not only for the budget implementation but has also empowered the Chairman of the State-Cares Steering Committee, the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune, to continue to paddle the boat of NG-CARES in the state without necessarily resorting to the EXCO”.

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Describing the EXCO approval as “spectacular”, Dr. Obaje pointed out that it would ensure that the activities of the body are fast-tracked, saying: “We want to commend His Excellency (Ugwuanyi) and of course the State Executive Council (EXCO) for the quality of prudence in management of public resources which we witnessed during this visit”.

According to him, “We are very impressed to note that funds are released only after State EXCO has deliberated on it, and there is due process. The World Bank is an institution that respects due diligence in management of resources and we saw that exemplified in Enugu State.

“This is going into our records as one of the best practices in management of resources. The process put in place here (Enugu) is commendable and we must put that in our records.

“We are also impressed with the quality of understanding of the processes involved in NG-CARES implementation in Enugu State. And this emboldens the Chairman of the State-Cares Steering Committee, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune. She is here and we are really impressed with the knowledge that has been exhibited and her leadership”.

Dr. Obaje expressed confidence that Enugu will be one of the states in Nigeria that will have the highest amounts of resources from the World Bank through the Federal Government, stressing: “As far as World Bank portfolios under Enugu State is concerned, the finances of Enugu State is in safe hands and we are very comfortable with the process that has been put in place and we commend His Excellency for enthroning prudence, probity and accountability in the state”.

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Earlier, NG-CARES Team Leader, Dr. Martina Nwordu, explained that the delegation was in Enugu State on advocacy visit to evaluate what the state government has done so far on the programme and to encourage it to do more towards the full actualization of the set objectives of the programme aimed at impacting the lives of the poor and the vulnerable, positively.

On the outcome of their deliberations with Gov. Ugwuanyi and members of the State EXCO, Dr. Nwordu said: “We are absolutely impressed because this is the first time it is happening. EXCO gave approvals to the Chairman of the State-CARES Steering Committee on delivery platforms, and this is a very big achievement for Enugu State as regards this programme”.

In her remarks, the Chairman of the State-CARES Steering Committee and Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mrs. Kene-Uyanwune, listed the delivery platforms identified by the Enugu State government to assist the poor and the vulnerable in the society to include Ministry of Agriculture, Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

She explained that the state government chose the platforms, which are already in existence in the state as requested by World Bank, because of their direct impact on the lives of the poor and the vulnerable in terms of fast disbursement of funds and other resources.

The Commissioner assured the delegation that the Enugu State government remains committed to transparency, accountability and due process in the management of the resources, revealing that the state government did match the available funds from the World Bank, which will cut across the delivery platforms to ameliorate the wellbeing of the beneficiaries in the state.

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The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Engr. Michael Ogbuekwe, his SMEs counterpart, Arinze Chilo-Offaih, the Board Chairman, CSDA, Enugu, Comrade Ibuchukwu Ezike and the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Finance, Dr. Benedict Ezema were also at the press briefing.

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