Buhari: Post COVID-19 will be hit the poor badly, but we’re prepared

By Editor on 01/07/2020

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”It is my conviction that devoting our efforts towards human capital development, efficient management of our resources, greater financial inclusion and transformation of the agricultural sector to ensure food security are crucial to poverty eradication.”

This was the way President Muhammadu Buhari, sought to instill hope in the polity, on a day he painted a bleak future after the current battle with the COVID-19 outbreak ravaging Nigeria and other parts of the world.

Buhari, who spoke on Tuesday, while expressing concern that the disease, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), would worsen the already bad economic standing of poor families globally, said his government was already taking steps to mitigate the situation in Nigeria.

A statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, quoted the President as speaking in a recorded video message to a virtual high-level UN meeting on trends, options and strategies in poverty eradication across the world, which took place at UN headquarters in New York, Tuesday, adding that it also served as the official inauguration of the Alliance for Poverty Reduction (APE), an initiative of the President of the General Assembly, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.

Buhari, was reported to have said that his administration was doing a lot to ensure that the problem was mitigated in Nigeria, saying that the recently developed Economic Sustainability Plan, aimed at stimulating the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would extend protection to very poor Nigerians and other vulnerable groups through pro-poor spending.

”In this regard, Nigeria continues to strengthen its existing social safety net initiative by increasing access to enrolees who fit the various programmes in the scheme.

”Nigeria will also continue to provide easier and increased access to financial services for micro and small-scale businesses through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme. But we are determined to do more.

”Nigeria holds the view that education is a critical driver of sustainable development and has an immense capacity to eradicate poverty.

”Educating our children, especially the girl-child, contributes significantly to the fight against poverty, environmental sustainability, and improved health, as well as building peace and resilient societies,’’ he said.

President Buhari also used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of his administration to poverty eradication, highlighting the national programme of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

”Nigeria attaches great importance to poverty eradication. It is, for this reason, that in May 2019, on my inauguration for a second term in office, our Government committed itself to starting a Programme of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a 10-year period,” he said.

On the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, President Buhari said in Nigeria, as in many other countries, the domestic supply chains and trading corridors have come under enormous strain, bringing to fore the health versus economics debate.

On poor and vulnerable people, the Nigerian leader expressed concern that more than 700 million people or 10% of the world’s population are classified as living in extreme poverty.

‘‘All the while they struggle with the most basic needs like nutrition, shelter, health, education and access to clean water and sanitation.

‘‘In this condition, the number of poor people is estimated to triple as livelihoods across almost all economic sectors have been adversely affected,’’ he said.

President Buhari also told the meeting that with a population of about 200 million; a large percentage of Nigerians live in various stages of poverty, adding that the prospect of the population sliding further into extreme poverty is real, stressing, however, that government was also striving to combat and reverse the trend.




Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on July, 1 2020

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