Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration’s has ensured 10.5 million citizens have been brought out of poverty since 2019.
The Nigerian leader stated this during a live broadcast to commemorate the June 12 Democracy Day.
Mr Buhari noted that the government is still determined to ensure that the overall economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is accomplished notwithstanding COVID-19.
He said: “In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.
“I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace.
“Our overall economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.
“I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.”
According to the President, his administration has disbursed N5,000 to 1 million Nigerians using a rapid response register and advanced N20,000 to 750,000 beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer programme and provided 1.37 million Nigerians with palliatives from the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a private sector-led organisation established to assist the government in combating COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the same time the Federal Government released 109,000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70,000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation,” Mr Buhari said.
“In addition, Government reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548,345 beneficiaries.”
By Abel Ejikeme