– Governor Nasir El-rufai has confirmed the earlier prediction of some economic experts that Nigeria has the highest number of poor people in the world
– The Kaduna governor made the comment while launching a programme aimed at addressing poverty in the state
– Experts say the Nigerian economy has nose-dived astronomically in the last few years
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has declared that Nigeria has the highest number of poor people in the world.
El-Rufai made the comment at the launch of a Social Protection Agency in Kaduna on Tuesday, February 23, adding that the agency was set-up to ensure that all social protection programmes are delivered in an integrated, inclusive and sustainable manner in the state.
He further said the social register must be used for programmes designed to assist the poor.
Daily Trust quoted him as saying:
“Nigeria is going through trying times. We have the largest number of poor people than any country in the world.
Yet, whenever a programme is designed to help the poor and vulnerable, we resort to a slot mentality in which important people are allocated slots instead of targeting those poor and vulnerable that deserve it.
“This is unfortunate. We must move away from slot mentality and use our social register to offer targeted support to those that truly need it.”
Recall that Nigeria formally exited recession as the country’s economy grew by 0.11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 according to a recent report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The latest development comes after two consecutive quarters of negative growth which resulted in Africa’s biggest economy sliding into recession, the second time under the Buhari administration.
Despite the new development, many say the reality on ground is that the poverty level in Nigeria has risen to an astronomical level under the Buhari government.
Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for steering the Nigerian economic ship out of recession.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, February 18, and signed by the acting national secretary of the party, Senator John J. Akpan Udoedehe, the APC said Nigeria’s exit from recession gives credence to Buhari’s next level plans for the country.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.