The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has highlighted the programme of the Federal Government, geared towards removing 50 million people from poverty in Nigeria, as directed by President Bola Tinubu.
Edu who stated this while answering questions from the State House correspondents on the sidelines of the three-day retreat at the State House Conference Center Abuja, said 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.
According to her, 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.
Edu explained that the process is being carried out rigorously to ensure that the right people get the money.
The minister said the government is identifying the beneficiaries, verifying their identities through their NINs and BVNs, and ensuring that they are paid.
She further emphasised that the government does not want to rush into paying people and then realise that they don’t even exist.
Answering questions on 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. And 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 who 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.”
She however emphasized the importance of collaboration between her ministry and other ministries to address the multi-dimensional issue of poverty in Nigeria.
According to her, poverty is multi-dimensional, and some people are poor because they do not have access to education, quality healthcare services, or jobs.
She assured that her ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Agriculture, among others, to pull Nigerians out of this multi-dimensional poverty.
On how her ministry will synergise with other ministries to address health care and quality education as a means to fight poverty, Edu said: “So we’re running as a team. It is a multi-dimensional issue that has been dealt with. Remember, it’s multi-dimensional poverty. So some people are poor because they do not have access to education.
“Some people are poor because they do not have access to quality healthcare services. Some people are poor because they do not have access to jobs.
“So it’s multi-dimensional. We are collaborating as a ministry with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Agriculture, amongst others, to see that we can pull Nigerians out of this multi-dimensional poverty.”
Edu who also commented on the importance of the conference, said “It has been very informative, especially as it concerns administration, governance, leadership, and 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 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 spelt out our deliverables. 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 improve 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, and we would be out there to push and see that the Renewed Hope Agenda becomes a reality.”