The Federal Government’s initiatives designed to reduce poverty in the country have achieved its objectives, said the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma on Tuesday.
Udoma stated that the implementation of these programmes has made many Nigerians, particularly the poor and vulnerable, to feel directly the impact of governance.
The Minister who was speaking at an International Social Protection Cross-learning Summit in Abuja on Tuesday, said the determination of the Buhari Administration to continue its work to substantially reduce poverty among Nigerians are the major reasons for the Summit; to see how the lessons from implementing the government’s social protection programmes can be applied to further improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable.
The Summit was organised by International Development Partners working with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
He narrated that last Sunday, January 20, he was at an event organised by the Ministry of Information at which some of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme gave heartfelt testimonies of how their lives have been impacted by the programmes.
“Listening to these testimonies brought home to me the importance of the work we are doing and how real lives are transformed by these interventions. This work is important, and we must all work hard to do more. Step by step we are helping to reduce poverty and ameliorate the plight of the poorest of our citizens”, he indicated.
Senator Udoma said whilst there is no doubt that these programmes have been impactful we must continue to intensify the implementation of these laudable programmes so that the benefits may touch more and more Nigerians. He assured that government will continue to focus attention and activity on the poverty alleviation programmes and will implement them consistently over a number of years to ensure that we achieve the desired dramatic reduction in poverty.
He explained that the objective of the summit is to deepen stakeholders’ awareness and understanding of the benefits of continuing the investments we are making in social protection-related programmes in Nigeria.
“It will also provide the opportunity for participants to be briefed about the various social protection programmes put in place by this Administration since we assumed office three and half years ago,” he added. Participants would be expected to proffer suggestions on how to improve the impact of these very popular programmes.