The Benue State Government has released over N1.5 billion to facilitate implementation of the State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme, B-CARES.
Governor Samuel Ortom made this known Thursday, April 14th, 2022 while launching the commencement of the programme which featured distribution of cheques to beneficiaries at Government House, Makurdi.
The Governor stated that the beneficiaries who have been categorized into delivery platforms include the state Cares coordinating unit, Community and Social Development Agency, Fadama, Ministry of Industry and Cooperatives and the state cash transfer unit.
Governor Ortom who broke down the disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries said the state CARES Coordinating unit would take N155.9 million, CSDA N135.4 million, FADAMA N414.7 million, Ministry of Industry and Cooperatives N277.1 million and the state cash transfer unit taking N115.4 million.
He stated that the aim of the B-Cares programme was to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the indigenes through grants for poor and vulnerable households as well as micro, small and medium enterprises.
Governor Ortom also noted that the programme was in line with the ten year development plan of his administration to show commitment to the welfare, social protection and economic wellbeing of Benue indigenes.
Chairman of B-Cares Implementation Steering Committee and the State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. David Olofu said the process for the B-Cares programme started in 2020 when the budgets suffered severe shocks and dislocation due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Olofu noted that due to the leadership and political will provided by Governor Ortom, Benue State was able to qualify for the programme ahead of many states and expressed optimism that implementation of the programme would improve the living standards of communities and assist SME’s to get back on their feet.
The State Coordinator of Benue State COVID-19 Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme, B-Cares, Mrs Iember Agir who presented an overview of the programme, urged the benefitting platforms to utilize the money for the purpose it was meant for.