From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has advocated a synchronisation of poverty eradication schemes between the states and the Federal Government, in order to have an overall impact across the country.
Farouq, who spoke yesterday in Abuja, at a virtual extra-ordinary meeting of the Forum of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Secretaries to State Governments, argued that poverty remained one of the country’s greatest setbacks, which must be addressed urgently before it consumes the citizenry.
In a statement released by her Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, she said: “A careful evaluation of all major programmes and projects of government since independence on poverty reduction, alleviation and eradication shows that there is a need to harmonise and rationalise intervention strategies and their implementation which will lead to an environment where all programmes are centrally coordinated and monitored with a view to making the overall impacts transparently felt by all Nigerians.
“Though many actions were taken to address this in the past, the 2018/2019 poverty and inequality data in Nigeria, as released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the range of poverty headcount is between a high of 87.3% in Sokoto State to a low of 4.5% in Lagos, with a national average of 40.2%.
“This alarming situation and the strategic need to address it is the primary reason the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari established the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to provide National Coordination, strategies and policies for intervention.
Corroborating the minister’s position, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, emphasised the need for a well-coordinated national, rather than disparate states and federal programmes aimed at addressing poverty.
“The theme is a pointer to the importance of dealing with the unacceptable levels of poverty in Nigeria. This situation is not abating in spite of the various efforts of government at all levels.
“Ineffective coordination between and within various levels of government have for long been implicated as a reason for a not-too-visible performance. It is therefore, necessary to fill gaps, block leakages, remove overlaps and increase collaboration and partnerships between the Federal and state governments through the office of SSGs so that we have a real national effort at tackling poverty in the country,” the SGF said.