President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS).
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the committee chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari reiterated his commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, with a well-researched framework for implementation and funding.
The President also disclosed that 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 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.”
President Buhari was confident that the NPRGS would address the underlying causes of poverty on the basis of which it developed programmes, that would deal with the multi-dimensional nature of poverty within the practical context of comparative advantage of human and natural resources in the various geo-political zones.
“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.”
The responsibilities of the committee, he noted, include anchoring collaborative efforts; provide oversight for the implementation of the strategy; provide guidance to Technical Working Group and federal ministries, extra ministerial departments and agencies, subnational governments and other stakeholders on meeting the objectives of the programme; as well as monitor progress and any other effort that would enhance the attainment of the objective of lifting 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years.
President Buhari asked the committee to commence work immediately to enable the Technical Working Group to begin to put the nuts and bolts together.