– As Amina Mohammed Urges FG To Invest More In Youths to Help Fight Insecurity
By Frontline Reporters
President Muhammadu Buhari, says the administration’s policy of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty will be pursued with remarkable grit and determination.
Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), in Abuja, President Buhari agreed with the Council that the country required a poverty reduction strategy that will usher in a “rapid, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The President wondered what became of the nation in the past, “with all the resources available to it” that no such coordinated, holistic agenda on poverty reduction was ever contemplated.
“I was shocked, hearing from you that, of the vast agricultural land resources available to the nation, only two percent of it is under irrigation, promising that “we will make the best use of the land.
The President expressed gratitude to PEAC for waking the nation up from Slumber.
After listening to the PEAC Chairman, Professor Doyin Salami, who led the presentation, President Buhari cleared the way for the Ministers to be briefed on the implementation plan at the FEC meeting on Wednesday, 24th February 2021.
The plan, which Professor Salami said had so far gained an overwhelming approval of stakeholders across the country, had earlier been presented to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretaries to Government of all the 36 States, and the Governors at the National Economic Council; Development Partners, including the World Bank, IMF and AfDB; Civil Society Organisations and the Organised Private Sector actors in the country.
The PEAC Chairman welcomed the country’s exit from recession but cautioned that the strength of the economic growth must be driven in a way that it will overtake population growth.
The poverty reduction strategy, as presented, requires the nation to raise agricultural productivity; to address the wide disparity among States and the regions, to ensure macro-economic stability; and to take advantage of the different economic endowments of the country in the promotion of industrialisation.
In defining principles of the new strategy, the PEAC said that the approach will be multi-dimensional. “Poverty is not only the lack of cash. It is defined by lack of access to shelter, health, education and jobs which must all be addressed.”
While nothing that there had in the past been varied attempts to eradicate poverty in the country, the Council submitted that this was the first time that “we are consolidating on the achievements of the past and avoiding past mistakes; it is the first time that everyone is coming on board – Federal Government, States, the Private Sector, Development Partners and the Civil Society.
The body says Poverty reduction must not be left to the Federal Government alone, it is everybody’s responsibility.”
The Council suggested the setting up of a “National Council on Poverty Reduction,” made up of all these stakeholders, which was immediately accepted by the President.
In a related development, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs Amina Mohammed has asked the Federal Government to increase investments in young people as a means to tackling insecurity.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Mrs Mohammed noted that young people and Nigerians, in general, should be given something to look forward to in order to make contributions to the growth of the country.
She added that the investment should be in areas such as skills development, education and services that strengthen governance at the local level.