Tuesday, 25 August 2020

CARES: C'River, BOI to partner on grants, intrest-free loans to business owner

Gov't News Source, 25 August 2020

In a bid to avert a drastic decline in economic growth in Cross River State as a result of Covid-19 Pandemic ,the State government is set to partner with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to deliver the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) program for Result, Result Area 3 (RA 3) in the State.

The stimulus package is part of the  post Covid-19 economic sustainability plan by the Cross River State Government in partnership with the World Bank, with the aim of keeping economic contraction to the barest minimum.

Speaking at the programme meeting in Abuja, the Cross River State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation (MIDC), Dr. Inyang Asibong, said Cross River and the Bank Of Industry will work out  modalities for a Partnership that will stimulate Small and Medium Scale Enterprise in Cross River State.

Asibong who is the CARES Team Lead in the State, said the collaboration is in line with Gov Ben Ayade's vision of increasing the number of business owners who enjoy interest-free loans and grants. 

"The effort is to assist MSMEs to boost investment and stimulate confidence in  economic activities in rural communities in all the eighteen local government areas of Cross River State" she explained.

Also joining Dr Asibong at  the Abuja Meeting were the BOI Lead on Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) Mr Akan Ekure, and the Special Adviser to the CRS Governor on Enterprise Funding who doubles as the Focal Person for this Result Area,  Hon Marjorie Asuquo.

C/River Gov't embarks on evaluation of vulnerable households for CBT

Meanwhile, the Cross River Government has embarked on the project monitoring and evaluation exercise to access the Community Based Target (CBT) projects of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO).

Dr Inyang Asibong, Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, who monitored the exercise in Ikot Ene-Obong and Ikot Effanga Mkpa communities both in Calabar Municipality, said the exercise was to access the level of progress of the beneficiaries.

Asibong said that the YESSO programme, which is supported by the World Bank, is targeted at improving the financial status of the vulnerable in the society.

According to her, the exercise mark the end of the CBT bacth, which will usher in a new batch of the programme for more beneficiaries to be captured.

"If you recall, President Muhammadu Buhari had months ago given a directive that atleast one million people should be captured under the vulnerable register across the country.

"The Cross River Government did not rest on its oars; we have actually started the process because Gov. Ben Ayade of the state is desirous to see that the vulnerable are captured in the new register.

"The evaluation exercise is to help us know how the last batch of beneficiaries have fared so far with the stipends they receive monthly.

"We get the data from the communities and capture them into the register and this exercise is going on smoothly across the state", she said.

Asibong disclosed that over 10,000 beneficiaries were currently benefiting from the YESSO programme across the state and 12,000 beneficiaries for the Conditional Cash Transfer.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the effort was to reduce the poverty index of the state.

One of the beneficiaries, Ms. Grace Akpan Sunday, thanked the World Bank and the Cross River Government for improving her banana business with the stipend.

Another beneficiary, Mr Sunday Akpan, appealed to the Cross River Government to make the payment regular, adding that the stipend had gone a long way in improving his tailoring business.

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