By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Abuja – The Federal Government on Thursday reiterated its promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, restated the government’s commitment in Abuja at a media briefing to mark the 2019 World Poverty Eradication Day.
Mohammed said that virtually all the policies and programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration were aimed at eradicating poverty.
Specifically, he said that the three cardinal objectives of the administration – fighting insecurity, fighting corruption and reviving the economy – had direct link with eradicating poverty.
“Without security, there can be no economic activities that will prosper the citizens and liberate them from poverty.
“The emphasis on fighting corruption is also directly linked to eradicating poverty because if funds meant for development are misappropriated and looted, it will lead to poverty.
“The administration has also focused on revamping the economy and creating more jobs to fight poverty,’’ he said.
The minister added that the government had also taken more concrete and effective steps to eradicate poverty, “especially the social intervention programme in which millions of Nigerians are benefiting”.
“The most vulnerable victims of poverty are the women and children and they are the direct beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer and the One Meal per Day’
“For the first time in the history of the country, in the last four years, 30 per cent of our budget was reserved for capital projects which has helped to create jobs and provide more infrastructure,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that in marking the day, many ministers, representatives of the UN and some Non Governmental Organisations held a symbolic walk which took off at 7 a.m. from the Old Parade Ground to the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
“The idea is to symbolically say that we are walking poverty out of Nigeria.
“This is in sync with President Buhari’s determination to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on October 17 each year, since 1993.
It promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries.