Minister of Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has expressed the readiness of her ministry to deliver on the present administration’s target of job creation, facilitating food security, eradication of poverty, and provision of good governance to the citizenry
Speaking to newsmen ar the sidelines of the three-day Ministerial Retreat for Ministers and Special Advisers as well as Assistants and Aides, Edu said her ministry is already on the right path to improving things in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
She said that her ministry is collaborating with the Ministries of Finance, Health, Education, and Agriculture, among others, to see that the administration can pull Nigerians out of the prevailing multi-dimensional poverty in the country.
Her words: “Remember, it’s multi-dimensional poverty. 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”.
The Minister, however, craved the understanding of the citizens to have a little patience, even as the authorities fervently ‘push’ to see that the Renewed Hope Agenda becomes a reality.
According to her: “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.
“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 spelt 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 on 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.”
Edu disclosed a number of specific areas tasked by the President to actualise the removal of 50 million Nigerians in the poverty rung to cushion the economic shock faced by many.
She listed the areas to include the ongoing payment of N25,000 to poor households in Nigeria, saying “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.
The Minister, however, submitted: “We’re taking our time going through the rigorous process. And 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, among 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 Tinubu.
“So, we’re running as a team. It is a multi-dimensional issue that has been dealt with. And that helps us to be able to run with the speed of light to achieve success.
“We have gotten the approval from the Federal Executive Council to create the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund. This a N5 billion trust fund. And 30 percent of this contribution is supposed to come from the government putting its skin in the game, while the other 70 percent will come from the private sector, individuals, countries with bilaterals, of course, donors, philanthropic individuals, as well as the private sector.
“Now, as we speak, the entire operationalisation of that is underway. And we’re beginning to create the structure, working with the relevant stakeholders.”
Deji Elumoye in Abuja