President Muhammed Buhari has disclosed that his administration has lifted 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
This was disclosed by the president during a speech to commemorate the June 12 Democracy Day.
“In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like,” Buhari said.
Buhari said his administration is strongly committed to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“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 over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19,” he said.
“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.
Buhari disclosed that his administration 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 progamme 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,” he added.
“In addition, Government reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548,345 beneficiaries.
Buhari said his administration is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, noting that everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the national assembly.
“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with,” he said.
“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.”