Nigeria has pledged its commitment to eradicate poverty through various policies of the Federal Government to transform the nation’s economy , particularly agriculture.
Mr Arnold Jackson, Assistant Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), stated this while delivering Nigeria’s statement on ‘Eradication of Poverty’ during the general debate at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Jackson said: “One of the policies of government to drastically reduce unemployment and by extension reduce poverty is the N-Power programme, aimed at engaging 500,000 Nigerian youths.
“The N-Power provides a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development while linking its core and outcomes to stimulating the larger economy.
“The beneficiaries of the programme will help in diversifying Nigeria’s economy as well as actualising economic and strategic aspirations of achieving food security and self sufficiency.
“No fewer than 150,000 Nigerian young graduates have already been engaged under the N-Power Scheme, while the process of engaging the remaining 350,000 is currently underway”.
According to him, Nigeria is paying special attention to agricultural development in view of its importance to employment generation, women empowerment and poverty eradication.
“Hence, various agricultural schemes have been initiated to create opportunities for women and youth, with the aim of supporting them with necessary infrastructure to attract various levels of agro investments and non-oil export opportunities.
“Some of these schemes include the ‘Green Initiative’, ‘Zero Oil Plan’, ‘Zero to Export’, ‘One State One Product’, to mention a few.
“Government is committed to ensuring that her agricultural advantages are further boosted through technology transfer, export promotion and rural development, which are fundamentally important for agricultural development in Africa.
“Nigeria would continue to encourage other countries to grant market access opportunities to her exportable agricultural and other products,” he said.
Jackson said it was Nigeria’s firm belief that gender equality and women empowerment would be better achieved through the eradication of poverty and the implementation of appropriate economic measures.
“This is why a ‘National Social Protection Policy’ is currently under consideration to address poverty, vulnerability and inequality in the country.
“The Nigerian government has also intensified campaign for the Girl Child education in order to secure their future participation in national development.
“This effort should be emulated globally to improve the situation of women in the context of the 2030 Agenda.
“At the global level Nigeria keys into several initiatives aimed at empowering women and the girl child, such as the ‘She Trades Initiative’ by the International Trade Centre,” he said.
He said Nigeria rightly acknowledged that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions remained the greatest global challenge and an indispensible requirement for sustainable development.
“It is on this premise that Nigeria avows that international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and enhance asset recovery to foster sustainable development.
“This is a practical sincere commitment to eradicating poverty and by extension ensuring the attainment of sustainable development,” he said. (NAN)