Federal Government has set aside a N500 billion intervention fund for the poorest Nigerians, in response to the growing state of insecurity across the country, occasioned by poverty, especially in the Boko Haram ravaged North-east.
Government has identified poverty as one of the over-aching issues in the country, which must be tackled through various intervention programmes which is why the current budget is tailored in such a way to reflect the need on poverty alleviation in the country.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during ‘a Roundtable on Vulnerable People in Insurgency and other Conflicts in Nigeria’, on Wednesday organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in honour of the Chibok girls and other victims of internal conflicts, however disclosed that determining and compiling the number of the poor in the country has proven difficult, but added that government is overcoming the challenge with the assistance of the World Bank and the Bill Gates Foundation.
Prof. Osibanjo revealed that about N500 billion intervention fund has been provided for social interventions, including conditional cash transfers to the very poorest, including loans to market women and persons who are engaged in informal trade who are about a million.
He disclosed that this administration in designing government programmes and budgets, paid attention to and took into account the great poverty of the people, especially education and healthcare for the most vulnerable, adding that the chief concerns of this government has been social investment.
The Vice President however disagreed that poverty is the major cause of terrorism and radicalisation, as being propounded by some people. He noted that most actors of terrorism, especially in the Middle East and Europe are well educated and from middle class families.
Government also vowed to do everything within its powers to rescue the Chibok girls very soon, who were abducted exactly two years ago, adding that the Chibok girls, obviously remain the focus of a lot of our attention on vulnerable persons.
The NSA, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), who was represented by his Special Adviser on Economic Intelligence, Mr. Remi Oyewunmi at the event, noted that the purpose of the round table was to discuss the plight of the most vulnerable citizens, devise preventive measures to avoid conflicts and find ways to mitigate the suffering of victims during and after conflicts.
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