By Stephen Adeleye
The Kogi Government has earmarked three billion naira to stimulate economic recovery, following the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the state and elsewhere.
The Governor of the state, Mr Yahaya Bello, on Tuesday in Lokoja, inaugurated a body known as COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Committee, to develop a roadmap to achieve the goals of the 10-member committee.
He charged the committee members to find ways of ensuring that poor and vulnerable people in the state were assisted to find their bread.
Represented by the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Dr Folashade Arike, Bello said the body tagged, KG-CARES, was aimed at finding ways to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on less privileged people in the state.
The governor said that although the state did not experience severe cases of the pandemic, the state was nevertheless, affected through reduced revenue and inflation.
He said that the N3 billion budgeted for the programme would help to improve the living condition of poor and vulnerable people and boost small and medium enterprises in the state.
Bello told the committee to develop policies to make the scheme a success.
“The responsibility of the committee is to provide oversight and policy guidance to the programme.
“The CARES programme should focus on livelihood support initiatives, including giving agricultural intervention grants.
“We have to ensure that the living conditions of Kogites are improved and that they will not suffer the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bello.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee is chaired by Mr Idris Asiwaju, Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning with Alhaji Sani Mohammmed, Head of the CARES Coordinating Unit as Secretary.
Also in the committee are Prince Abdulkareem Suleiman, Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, Mr Raphael Okomoda, Board Chairman, Kogi Community and Social Development Agency, Mr Gabriel Olofu, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry.
Others are Mr Daniel Ejigbo, Commissioner for Rural Development, Hajiya Fatima Kabir-Buba, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Victor Omafaiye, Commissioner for Environment, Mr David Apeh, Commissioner for Agriculture and Mr Idris Musa, Commissioner for Youth and Sports.