…. More Aggressive Poverty Alleviation long term interventions On the Way – Betta Edu
In commemoration of the 2023 International Day for Eradication of Poverty, President Bola Tinubu has put action to words by launching the disbursement of 25,000 Naira to 15 million households for three months as a Social Safety Net intervention to mitigate the impact of the recent fuel subsidy removal and as a proven means of eradicating poverty globally.
His determination to eradicate poverty in Nigeria is in line with his Renewed Hope Agenda, which has Poverty Eradication, Food security, Economic growth and Job creation as priorities.
The launch was performed on behalf of the President by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume at the State House Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Speaking during the launch of the programme, the President enumerated various steps his administration has taken to ameliorate poverty in the country.
These, according to the president, include providing the policy framework and road map for an aggressive poverty alleviation drive in Nigeria, developing the Renewed Hope Agenda for humanitarian response and poverty alleviation, and expanding the National Social Register to capture Nigerians living below one dollar ninety five cents per day.
Other steps, the President announced, are restructuring of the National Social Investment Programme and repositioning it for quick and efficient delivery that is transparent and accountable as well as partnering with the World Bank Group and other development partners to implement conditional cash transfers, business grants and other forms of support for the most vulnerable households in the country.
2) Investment of 100 Billion to purchase 3000 units of 20-seater Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered buses for cheaper transportation.
3) Investment of N200 Billion to cultivate 500,000 hectares of farmland to improve food security.
4) The release of 2000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grain reserves to households across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
5) The distribution of 225,000 metric tons of fertilizer and seedlings to farmers committed to the nation’s food security.
6) The release of 75 billion to support 100,000 SMEs and start-ups
7) Renewed Hope Shelter Programme for the Poor, Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons targeted at one million households.
8)Renewed Hope Business Grants & Loans for Vulnerable Market women, farmers, and traders to expand their business (GEEP) targeted at 2 million beneficiaries. among other interventions from various ministries through a multi sectorial approach.
While noting the theme of the commemoration of the 2023 edition of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with the theme “Decent Work and Social Protection: Putting Dignity in Practice for All”; President Tinubu said it was no doubt in perfect alignment with the Renewed Hope agenda of his government.
He added: “My government will lead from the front in seeking to ensure that all Nigerians have decent opportunities for dignified work and sustained social protection”
In her opening remarks, The Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Edu, said there is a call to action for all stakeholders including the private sector development partners and other nations to support Nigeria in its aggressive drive to eliminate poverty.
“The cardinal goal of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is to give the poor and vulnerable Nigerians a new breath of hope which is also inline with the SDG target”
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would not relent until vulnerable Nigerians are completely pulled out of poverty by 2030 ”
According to Dr Edu, conditional Cash Transfers is a proven way to alleviate poverty as it gives household the financial support to start micro and small enterprises, provide basic health care, food, keep their children in school and attend to immediate needs of the households.
“Mr. President during the October 1st National Broadcast, announced this intervention, we have gone through a thorough rigorous process of verification for the National Social Register, giving us the Lead way to begin payments. The beneficiaries are drawn from accross all states in the country plus FCT and is been done in a transparent manner that is traceable and verifiable”
“Beyond this, the government will be providing low-cost shelter for the poor and internally displaced persons as a form of providing that cover for them. Several other interventions, including the rural vocational skills Intervention, will be carried out at a country wide scale. All of these are targeted at the various dimensions of poverty in the country.
The Minister assured that many more impact driven poverty alleviation programs are set to be deployed for the betterment of the living conditions of Nigerians.
She commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for adding Poverty Alleviation as a key thematic area of her Ministry, describing it as a first of its kind in the country.
On his part, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of economy, Wale Edun, said a biometric auditing system has been introduced to ensure efficiency and accountability in the disbursement of the funds to all beneficiaries across the country.
Doing this according to the Minister, will ensure that those who are the target beneficiaries of the funds are the true recipients. He stated that the economy will be positively affected by the conditional cash transfer. The ministry of Finance has the coordinating role for this interventions for the economy.
The Country Director of the World Bank in Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said the bank will continue to support what he described as a ‘laudable programme’.
Chaudhuri commended the political will of Nigeria President in removing the fuel subsidy, saying the pain will be for short time after which Nigerians will begin to benefit from the though out good policy.
He assured that the World Bank will continue to Partner the Federal Government to provide soccur to Nigerians, especially the poor and vulnerable citizens.
Some of the beneficiaries who recieved instant fund transfer into their wallet at the venue of the launch, include the visibly poor Lanai Sulaiman, Shuaibu Hassana, Sarki Bala Gamu, Okoro Jonah and Hamed Kosemani Isiaka.They all confirmed the receipt of the funds and commended the Federal Government for the initiative.
Others who attended the programme were, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator For Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, Senate and House Representatives Committee Chairmen on Poverty Alleviation Permanent Secretary State House, Adebiyi Olusesan Olufunsho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Abel Enitan, Directors, Programme Coordinators and managers and other top government functionaries.
Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, (ANIPR),Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Honourable Minister, MHAPA.