By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari says reducing extreme poverty and hunger is one of the cardinal objectives of his administration.
The president stated this in a keynote address at the Nigeria high level side event on ‘SDG Integration – Bridging the Policy Planning – Budgeting Gap for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.’
In a statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Tuesday, Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s developmental priorities.
The side event was held on the margins of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA74) on Tuesday in New York.
The president said: “It is for this reason that in May this year, we committed ourselves to lifting approximately 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a 10-year period.
“This is a national development priority and in line with the aspirations of the SDGs.
“We have since established an ambitious National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) targeting the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population.”
According to the president, through NSIP the administration is tackling and addressing the root causes of poverty in all its manifestations.
““For example, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSF) component is feeding almost 10 million school pupils daily and empowering over 90, 000 local catering staff across the country,’’ he said.
Buhari also spoke on the need to overcome ad hoc planning for the SDGs.
He explained that it was government’s genuine desire for scientific planning and implementation of the SDGs that made Nigeria to commence the process of domestication and customisation of the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model in 2017.
“The Nigeria iSDG Model, the report ofwhich we will officially launch today, will serve as a framework for robust, fact-based policy analysis, planning and implementation at all levels of government.
““It is expected to be used as a planning tool to complement existing ones currently in use at the national, sectoral and sub-national levels,’’ the president said.