President Muhammadu Buhari has launched a steering committee on National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS).
In a statement issued by the Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday, said the committee will be led by Vice President Yemi Osinabjo.
Buhari reiterated his commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, with a well-researched framework for implementation and funding.
He said the NPRGS has proposed to establish a private equity fund to ensure mobilisation drive and sustainable management of resources.
“This journey began in January 2021 when I directed the Chairman of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and Secretary to the Government of the Federation to collaboratively work together to articulate what that will lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten (10) years.
“I am happy to note that the process of designing this inclusive poverty reduction strategy recognized and addressed past mistakes as well as laying the foundation for a sustainable poverty reduction through the wide range consultations held at all levels of government, development partners, the private sector as well as the civil society,” he said.
Buhari added that the NPRGS would address the underlying causes of poverty in various geopolitical zones in the country.
He added: “The major challenge before this national steering committee is to translate our good intention into positive impact of the average Nigerian so that we create an appreciative impact on the poverty situation in our country.
“If India can lift 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, Nigeria can surely lift 100 million out of poverty in 10 years. Fortunately, we have already started but we need to unlock the challenges of slow implementation, inappropriate targeting and absence of adequate resources.
“The performance of our economy despite COVID-19 gives me comfort that we can achieve our goal but we need to seriously scale up and work more with state and local governments.
“This call becomes more pertinent in the face of recent forecasts by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and our own Nigerian Economic Summit Group which all agreed that Nigeria needs to frontally tackle her poverty situation if our economic gains are to be sustained.’’
Buhari listed the committee’s duties to include: anchor collaborative efforts; provide oversight for the implementation of the strategy; provide guidance to the technical working group and federal ministries, extra ministerial departments and agencies, subnational governments and other stakeholders to achieve the objectives of the programme.
He urged the committee to commence work to foster the activities of the technical working group.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who is a member of the committee said the poverty situation in the country assumed an enormous proportion with an increasing population, adding that the situation was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, said the administration responded to the COVID-19 poverty fallout swiftly and was able to ameliorate the situation and ensured a quick exit from recession.
The committee also has as members Chief of Staff to the President, Governors of Ekiti (South West), Delta (South South), Sokoto (North West), Borno (North East), Nasarawa (North Central), and Ebonyi States (South East).
Others are Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning; State for Budget and National Planning; Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Agriculture and Rural Development; Industry, Trade and Investments; Labour and Employment, Education and Health.