Kano State Government on Wednesday revealed that its secured $1.1 million grant from European Union (EU) and Japan through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
This was made public by Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, in a statement he issued in Kano.
Anwar disclosed that about 1,600 individuals and 630 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) would benefit from the facility under a Cash-For-Work arrangement.
He said, “The grant will go a long way in supporting communities badly affected by the pandemic.”
The statement quoted Habibu Hotoro, the Special Adviser to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as saying that the grant would alleviate post COVID-19 sufferings experienced by the people.
It also quoted Lezlem Dinku, UNDP Officer in Nigeria, as noting that the United Nations had undertaken several initiatives to support the communities affected by the pandemic in the country.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused infections, deaths and untold hardships to the most vulnerable particularly the urban poor in hotspot locations across the nation.
“It is in this regard that UNDP in Nigeria in collaboration with the government of Japan initiated a project to support selected vulnerable communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, to minimise the impact of job and livelihood losses and also help contain the spread of the virus.
“We have identified Kano as key target state and we will be working closely with your office and selected communities in implementing this initiative.” Dinku was quoted as saying in the statement.
The statement further quoted Gov. Ganduje as directing SDG’s office to ensure that only most vulnerable people were targeted for participation in the programme.
It disclosed that the governor also directed the SDGs office to open 500 new bank accounts for those who never benefited in the previous interventions in the state.
“The governor directed that all bank charges must be paid on behalf of those identified and selected beneficiaries to effectively cushion the effect of the hardships caused by the pandemic,” Anwar stated.