The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, declared on Thursday the initiation of a collaborative mission between her ministry, other governmental bodies, and private sector actors, with the ambitious goal of alleviating poverty for 50 million Nigerians in Nigeria, following President Bola Tinubu’s instructions.
Acknowledging poverty’s complexity, stemming from the lack of education, quality healthcare, and employment opportunities, she underscored her ministry’s collaboration with various entities, including the Ministries of Finance, Health, Education, and Agriculture, in the concerted mission to lift Nigerians out of this situation.
Inaugurating the three-day cabinet retreat on Wednesday, November 1, President Tinubu disclosed the upcoming requirement for ministers, presidential aides, permanent secretaries, and top government officials to sign a performance bond with him upon the conclusion of the session.
‘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 Bola Ahmed Tinubu,’ Edu informed State House Correspondents on the second day of the retreat at the State House Conference Center, Abuja.
As part of the all-encompassing plan, she highlighted the continuation of the conditional cash transfer program, wherein 15 million impoverished households in Nigeria would receive N25,000 per month for the next three months, summing up to N75,000.
Detailing the purpose of the initiative, the minister clarified that while its main focus is to cushion the economic aftermath of the subsidy, it will concurrently play a pivotal role in lifting 61 million households out of poverty.
Efforts are underway to guarantee that the funds are directed to the intended recipients.
‘Now, this is an immediate cushioning of the economic shock that these households are experiencing. However, 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,’ she explained.
Asked about the specifics that will ensure 50 million Nigerians are removed from poverty, Edu noted, ‘So we have a couple of things that have been listed out. First and foremost, as you know, there is an ongoing payment of N25,000 to poor households in Nigeria, and this is going to happen for three months, amounting to N75,000.’
‘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, amongst other people.’
The minister also said the support net includes poor farmers through the End Hunger Project saying ‘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.’
Edu highlighted the importance of working together between her ministry and other ministries to tackle the multi-faceted challenge of poverty in Nigeria.
She disclosed that her ministry will partner with other ministries to tackle healthcare and education issues, viewing them as crucial aspects in the fight against poverty.