Nearly 90m Nigerians Live in Extreme Poverty, Says Minister

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Sadiya Umar Farouq

Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs. Sadiya Umar Farouq, yesterday said that 90 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty across the country.

She made this disclosure while presenting a budget estimates of N44.21 billion for 2020 before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees.

Farouq said that the ministry has the enormous responsibility of addressing some of the underlining causes and consequences of humanitarian crises and underdevelopment.

She stated: “90 million of the country’s 198 million population live in extreme overty; relatively high unemployment,at 23.2 per cent, with over 40 million unemployed or underemployed.

“High number of persons of concern, including over two million internally displaced persons (IDPs); 230,000 Nigerian refugees in Niger, Chad and Cameroon; and 45,000 refugees in Nigeria); over 22 million persons with disabilities; over 14 million persons in one form of drug and substance abuse or the other; and growing needs of the elderly and other vulnerable groups.”

Farouq revealed that the ministry has six agencies under its supervision, including the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI); National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); National Social Investment Office (NSIO); North East Development Commission (NEDC); Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs); and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

She added that the Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Departments were moved from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development with their personnel, policies, programmes and projects to her ministry.

Farouq noted that she required maximum support and cooperation of the committee to be able to address the humanitarian crisis in the country.

The minister emphasised that the proposed budget for the year 2020 would enable the ministry and relevant agencies to intervene in areas that would stabilise IDPs, refugees and other persons of concern (POCs) in Nigeria and beyond.