Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has inaugurated the state Steering Committee on COVID-19 Action Recovery Plan to mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The recovery plan is tagged: “Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (State CARES).”
Makinde, inaugurating the 9-man steering committee in Ibadan, said the programme was basically meant for post COVID-19 economic recovery.
He said the programme would focus on expanding access to livelihood support; food security services and grants for the poor, vulnerable households and firms in the state.
The governor said that the CARES was aimed at mitigating the damage caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
“So, it is about post COVID-19 economic recovery.
“We want to increase access to basic services such as healthcare, care for the poor and the vulnerable households within the state.
“Also, we want to strengthen food supply chain for the poor households, because we know that once we are able to tackle hunger, people are able to think correctly,” Makinde said.
The governor said the state had started to take steps to cushion the effects of the pandemic since 2020, through the provision of palliatives to the poor and vulnerable households across the state.
“Farm inputs were also distributed to farmers to increase food production.
“We also came up with the one billion naira MSME fund to provide credit at a single-digit interest rate to MSMEs in the state,” he said.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo, said that the World Bank had earmarked 750 million dollars to support the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory on effects of the pandemic.
“The programme is aimed at mitigating the devastating effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the livelihood of the poor, and vulnerable households to cushion effect of the pandemic on the economic activities of respective states.
“The objective of the programme is to basically expand access to livelihood support, food security services, grants for the poor, vulnerable households and organisations,” Ojo said.
He said that the objective would be measured, using free-result indicators, number of the beneficiaries and those with access to basic social services.
The commissioner said the programme outlined a two-year financial support to the state to fulfill programme development objectives in three key areas.
The areas, according to him, are increasing cash transfers and livelihood support to the poor and vulnerable households.
“Increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chain for poor households and facilitating the recovery of Medium and Small Scale Enterprises,” he said.
Members of the steering committee include: Commissioner for Finance and Chairman of the Committee, Mr Akinola Ojo; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion Alhaja Faosat Sanni and
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle.
Others include: Commissioner for Trade, Industries and Cooperatives, Mr Adebisi Adeniyi; Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Lateef Oyeleke and Director-General, Oyo State Agriculture Development Agency (OYSADA) and the Executive Adviser on Agribusiness, Dr Adebowale Akande.
Others are Director-General, Oyo State Investment, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi; Executive Assistant on Intervention Fund, Mrs Aderonke Adebayo and the Chairman, Community and Social Development Agency, Mr Ahmed Eesuola.