Osinbajo chairs panel to address worsening poverty

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy submitted by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

The decision was taken at the weekly meeting of the council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting said Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who headed PEAC, is to chair the steering committee to provide overall guidance for implementation.

Apart from approving the implementation of the strategy, Adesina said FEC also approved that it be incorporated into the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025 and Agenda 2050.

The presidential spokesman added that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was directed to prepare a bill for submission to National Assembly to make the implementation of the strategy sustainable.

He said, “The Federal Executive Council noted the worsening poverty situation in the country and the efforts of the Federal Government to redress that situation.

“It is not as if government is not aware that there is poverty in the land but things are being done. One of it is this National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy that was presented today (Wednesday).

“The council also noted that the president pledged to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. Actually, by June 12 this year, that promise will be two years old. It was noted that it is work in progress, and it is work that will get done.

“The council noted that the President had directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the Chairman, Presidential Economic Advisory Council, on the need to come up with a sustainable Poverty Reduction Strategy. And that strategy is what is already codified in this volume and it was widely discussed and passed.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama, said the council adopted a National Diaspora Policy engineered by the Nigerian Diaspora Commission led by Abike Dabiri.

He said, “This policy is aimed at formalising and giving a structure to the relationship between the country and government and Nigerians in the diaspora, of which, you know, the 17 or more million Nigerians in the diaspora, and they constitute a very, very important part of the Nigerian community.

“This policy aims to promote national development through engagement, constructive engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora.

“In fact, for them to be really an integral part of march towards greater development, and utilising all these skills and all the resources that they have.”

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, decried attacks on the camps of Internally Displaced Persons, describing the situation as sad.

She called for enhanced security around the camps.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the council approved N2.1bn facility maintenance contract for the Nigerian Content House, Yenagoa while it also approved the operations and maintenance of a 10MW power plant also in Yenagoa.

<<Punch>>