BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has unveiled the Lagos Cares Initiative to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and other biting economic effects , saying no fewer than 125,058 Lagosians would benefit from it.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed this at the inauguration of the steering committees of the Lagos Cares Programme chaired by the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Sam Egube.
The programme is an offshoot of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) Programme for Results (P4R), supported by the World Bank.
Governor Sanwo-Olu acknowledged all development partners for their efforts, said the initiative was domesticated as a result of the seven hundred and fifty million US dollars the federal Government secured from the World Bank adding that it would be implemented in the between 2021 and 2023, and would provide economic relief and recovery support to identified vulnerable persons.
According to him, the initiative would directly support 20,843 households, while 125,058 would, indirectly, benefit from the programme.
“As a responsive government, we are constantly working round the clock to provide interventions, strategies and actions to alleviate the burden of the pandemic on the majority of our “at risk” people, especially in the areas of food security and health management,” the governor said.
The governor who also inaugurated Lagos State Human Capital Development Core Working Group, headed by his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat among other members which included some Commissioners, Directors and Foundations affirmed his administration commitment to close all human capital gaps.
He said the initiative was another avenue for the government to invest in the people, improve the lives of Lagosians, and provide excellent opportunities to make life more meaningful for the electorate.
“Lagos State is ready to close all human capital gap, which is why our T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda encompasses the creation of a 21st Century Economy in which our youth, small businesses and all Lagosians have access to economic opportunities, relevant skills, quality healthcare and education as well as other interventions and programmes that make life meaningful.
“It is unfortunate that despite the efforts of successive governments at all levels to improve the HDIs, millions of Nigerians still live below the poverty line while Nigeria stills ranks 161 among 189 countries on the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme.
“This sad narrative with devastating implications must change, and it will take the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, especially policymakers.
” We have decided to play our part by aligning with the Federal Government in the establishment of the Lagos State Human Capital Development Core Working Group which will be responsible for domesticating the Human Capital Development Programme while facilitating strategies and frameworks to improve our Human Capital Development Indicators”, Sanwo-Olu said.