Okon Bassey in Uyo
In order to meet the reality of the moment, the Federal Government is presently reviewing about twenty-six social programmes and policies that were implemented by previous administrations in the country since the year 2000.
An officer in the Social Investment Office of the Vice President of the country, Mohammed Braimah disclosed this at a recent Forum for Accountable Society (FAS) organised by ActionAid Nigeria and the Africa Human Development Centre (AHDC) held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
He said the federal government was currently reviewing some social polices of past governments including the SURE-P, YouWin, NDE and others for effective administration.
“All these are being handled by the office of the Vice President and the federal government is reviewing all social programmes about 26 of them by various governments since 2000.
“The Ministry of Budget and National Planning is handling them to get bio-metric capture of the beneficiaries to avoid any discrepancy in implementation”, he stressed.
The federal government, he said, was about that about 58 million Nigerians live in abject poverty and expressed its determination to bail the situation through people-oriented programmes.
According to him, the federal government was committed to tackling the issues in line with its pre-election promises to Nigerians.
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, he said, was committed to bridging the inequality gap by implementing key policies that would turn around the fortunes of Nigerians, especially the rural poor.
He said under the scheme, the federal government has earmarked billions of Naira for the school feeding programmes, targeting no fewer than 5.5 million pupils in public primary schools from Primary 1 to Primary 3 in States including Osun, Kaduna, Enugu, Borno, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Zamfara, in the first phase of the programme.
He explained that the administration has budgeted N70 worth of meal per child for 200 days in a year, and urged States to complement the federal government’s effort by feeding pupils in Primary 4 to Primary 6.
Braimah said the schemes expected to be managed by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, would also ensure 1 million poverty-threatened households receive N5,000 monthly, while hundreds of unemployed graduates get training in various skills with a view to being reintegrated into the private sector.
Towards the easy access to the facilities, Prof. Gabriel Umoh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AHDC and Lady Suwaiba Yakubu of ActionAid Nigeria, urged participants to form themselves into viable cooperatives.
They stressed the need for the rural poor to rise up to the challenges of getting out of poverty by embracing positive government programmes and policies, saying such action could go a long way towards bridging the inequality gap in the country.
Equally too, they charged Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to work in synergy bring positive government programmes to the needy in rural communities.