The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has refuted a report by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS) that Sokoto is the poorest state in Nigeria.
Tambuwal made the observation yesterday when he received a report titled: ‘Sokoto Development Plan: 2020-2025’ at the Government House in Sokoto.
According to the April 2020 Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS) report released by the NBS, which covered the year 2019, nine of top 10 poorest states in Nigeria are from the northern region with Sokoto, Taraba and Jigawa being the poorest.
The governor said: “I do not intend to join issues with the NBS, but I appeal to them to come clear on their variable(s) and how they do their assessments of poor states in Nigeria, and then how they arrived that Sokoto is the poorest state.
“We know that as a matter of fact, something must be fundamentally defective and wrong with their processes as well as the outcome of those processes.”
The fact of the matter, the governor explained, is “when you look at the programmes we are implementing in the state, they are people-friendly. They are promoting and supporting the vulnerable and the poorest of the poor.
“Even what we are doing through Zakkat and Waqf Commission (SOZECOM) alone, I am not aware that there is any state that is doing as much as that.”
Tambuwal’s administration has spent N4 billion on the upliftment of the businesses of over 200 small scale traders across the 23 local government areas of the state. This is in addition to the N258.8 million spent this year on to provide relief materials for orphans and the needy by SOZECOM, which in the preceding year spent N237.9 million on the same venture.
He said: “Not only that, the enabling increased in the ‘ease of doing business’ and other things this administration has done have actually improved the lives and well-being of the citizens of the state,” adding that “time shall tell!”
Tambuwal further added that the state government shall monitor the NBS and see what it will come up with in its next report, “whether they will actually reflect the true position of Sokoto State in Nigeria in terms of rating of poor states.
“We believe that we are not (poor) and in due course, it would be unfolded to the world.”