Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has listed out the details of President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s plans to pull 50 million Nigerians out of extreme poverty.
The Minister disclosed this to journalists on Day 2 of the 2023 Cabinet Retreat organized for ministers, presidential aides, permanent secretaries, and other top government functionaries at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Edu stated that her ministry is already on the right path towards improving things in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
The Minister said that her ministry is collaborating with the Ministries of Finance, Health, Education, and Agriculture, amongst others, to see that the administration can pull Nigerians out of the prevailing multi-dimensional poverty in the country.
According to the minister, the ongoing payment of N25,000 to poor households in Nigeria via the conditional cash transfer programme for the next three months, amounting to N75,000, was part of it.
All Nigeria Latest News reported that the minister explained that although the programme is for an immediate cushioning of the economic shock that these households are experiencing as a result of fuel subsidy removal, it will contribute to lifting 61 million households from poverty.
She added that the process is being carried out rigorously to ensure that the right people get the money, adding that the government is identifying the beneficiaries, verifying their identities through their NINs and BVNs, and ensuring that they are paid.
Asked about the specifics that will ensure 50 million Nigerians are removed from poverty, Edu said: “So we have a couple of things that have been listed out. First and foremost, as you know, there is an ongoing payment of N25,000 to poor households in Nigeria, and this is going to happen for three months, amounting to N75,000.
“Now, this is an immediate cushioning of the economic shock that these households are experiencing. However, we’re taking our time going through the rigorous process. The reason is simple; we want to be sure that the right people get the money, we identify them, they have their NINs, they have their BVNs and they paid. We don’t want to rush into paying people and then you realise that they don’t even exist.
“That’s why we went through the process of verification, and payments have started. Different states across the country can attest to this and individual poor households as well. This we will make public so it’s not even secret. Public so that Nigerians can hold us accountable.
“This is 15 million households, which automatically amounts to about 61 million persons. Beyond this, the President is going to be creating jobs for millions of Nigerians through different methods. We’re providing zero-interest loans for markets, petty traders, market women, amongst other people.
“We’re also supporting poor farmers. We’re bringing on board the End Hunger Project, we’re equally bringing on board the Good Nigeria Project, and several other projects and each of these projects has the targeted amount of persons whom we want to reach through our social safety net projects.
“We have the people who want to reach and an addition of all of these people together will give us a way over 50 million persons that will be directly reached by the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
Speaking on the impact of the retreat, Edu stated: “It has been very informative, especially as it concerns administration, governance, leadership, and actually managing the affairs of government at this level. For many persons, this has been very useful in setting the agenda for government.
“The President spoke very expressly yesterday (Wednesday) and he said, we’re all going to sign the bond to deliver on our targets. He is bringing the Renewed Hope Agenda, which is to reach out to millions of Nigerians create jobs, give food security, eradicate poverty, of course, ensure that we have good governance, fight corruption, and ensure the rule of law comes into play, amongst other things.
“What’s most important is to see that all these foot soldiers are set to work. For us in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and poverty alleviation, we are actually given a huge task, and that task is to go all out and ensure that we meet the deliverables and mandates of the government.
“We’ve spelled out our deliverables clearly. And we’re signing on to the bond. And the entire team of the ministry and its agencies, which it supervises would be on the road to ensure that we deliver and achieve success. It’s not going to be an easy task. Mr President is an A-class president who has a very high charge of what he wants to achieve for Nigerians. Hopes are high. And he will not fail. We will not fail. Nigeria as a country will not fail.
“We’re already on the right trajectory to improving things. We ask for a little patience from Nigerians, cooperation, and an understanding of government and government policies. We would be sincere, we would be accountable, we would be out there to push and see that the Renewed Hope Agenda becomes a reality.”