By Omon-Julius Onabu
The federal government has promised to remain committed in reducing poverty and misery among the poor and vulnerable segment of the Nigerian population.
Sadiyya Umar Faruk, Hon Minister, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, made the assertion yesterday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, at the flag-off of the federal government cash grant for rural women project in the state.
A total of 3,300 rural women drawn across the three senatorial districts of state are to benefit from the cash grant, including poor farmers, petty traders, widows and the physically-challenged, some of who participated in the symbolic flag-off at the Government House in Asaba yesterday.
The state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented at the ceremony by Delta State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Flora Alatan, stressed that the state government was at the forefront in efforts to address poverty through several entrepreneurial training, empowerment and job creation schemes.
The minister, who was represented by the Director of Humanitarian Affairs, Ali Grema, noted that the federal government consistent commitment to addressing the plight of the very poor and vulnerable citizens in the country was reflected in the several schemes for poverty reduction that have been introduced since the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2015.
The minister, however, noted that all hands must be on deck, and “a combination of strategies” has adopted targeting specific sectors of the society, because poverty reduction or sustainable development goals cannot be achieved through a single approach.
According to the minister, “Since the inception of President Buhari’s administration in 2015, the federal government has paid more attention to addressing the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country, despite the economic slump and glaring revenue challenges.
“This is because poverty reduction has become a major objective of governments all over the world, and, it is a key every country is working towards in order to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“It is a fact that no single approach can be relied upon to achieve poverty reduction goals. It will require a combination of strategies, each targeting specific sectors among the population.
“This therefore informed the decision by the president to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy to reduce poverty and enhancing social inclusion. The NSIP is adjudged the largest protection programme in Africa with over $1billion earmarked annually to create positive changes in the lives of the poor and most vulnerable in the country.”
In her welcome address, the Executive Assistant to the Delta State Governor on Special Duties/Girl Child Empowerment, and the Focal Person, National Social Investment Programme, Bridget Anyafulu, noted that cash grant project was meant to improve the well-being of the beneficiaries by increasing their income as well as strengthening their productive activities, enhancing their food security and contributing towards the improvement of their families.