In President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term, Nigeria got the infamous distinction of becoming the country with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty. Things would be different in this second term if the words of the recently reappointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, are anything to go by.
Background: Speaking on Sunday at the Yola Airport, Mustapha said that President Buhari is committed to setting up institutional structures that will lift at least 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years.
- Mustapha further explained that the pledge by the president to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is one of the boldest statements to have ever been made by any president.
- He said the promise is not a ruse as the government has set in motion an agenda to redeem it.
Why it matters: While there has been a lot of rhetoric around the subject of poverty alleviation in the last few years, the poverty numbers are not abating. The targets the president and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) set before they won elections in 2015 were not met, as more Nigerians sunk into poverty.
- According to the World Poverty Clock, 91.16 million Nigerians were living below a dollar a day as at February 13, 2019.
- The report also stated that four million Nigerians have fallen into poverty since the last estimate. This shows that despite government’s effort with empowerment schemes such as the Npower, TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and other schemes, the situation has gotten worse.
Bottomline: As the president has now reappointed some of his choice aides, while Nigerians await the ministerial list, the clock is ticking. Would this be another failed promise?