Osinbajo calls for action against poverty

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed the need for the Federal Government to create ways of lifting Nigerians out of poverty.

According to a statement on Thursday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the Vice-President spoke during a meeting of the National Economic Council’s Human Capital Development Core Working Group held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

NEC, which comprises all state governors and federal officials, is chaired by the Vice President.

The meeting covered a presentation on ‘Prioritising and improving the human capital development base in Nigeria.’

Akande quoted the Vice-President as saying government was committed to driving initiatives to accelerate human capital development in the country.

He said this was important because lifting Nigerians out of poverty was a crucial agenda towards attaining intended developmental outcomes.

Osinbajo said, “Poverty, as we know, is both a cause and consequence of some of what we are looking at in our human capital development deficit.

“Really, I think we need to focus a lot more on some of the more creative ways of getting our people out of poverty.

“And of course, we have some social investment programmes; we are looking at some of the examples of what India did, some have been tried and tested in such huge populations.

“I think there is a need for us to sensitise our people to why it is that we need to get a large segment of our people out of poverty.”

He added, “Recently, we’ve been launching the TraderMoni scheme, which is basically giving credits to petty traders across the country in the markets and all that.

“We must do even more in terms of giving credits and whatever assistance and support to people; obviously, the more money people have, the better it is for them, so they can apply their little resources to some of what we are expected to do to improve human capital development.”

The Vice-President said the NEC would ensure high-level representation across the states, specially focused on human capital development.

The meeting was attended by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai; Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, Aliko Dangote of the Dangote Foundation and some senior government officials.

Representatives from development partners such as the World Bank, Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also attended the meeting.

Speaking during the presentation, the Senior Technical Adviser on NEC/Policy, Ms Yosola Akinbi, noted that the Steering Committee’s Human Capital Development plan was focused on three areas – health and nutrition, education and labour force participation.

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Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

 

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