The northern part of Nigeria has been ranked the highest region in poverty and illiteracy level, according to a new survey that was released by the federal government.
This was made known by the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Miriam Yalwaji Katagun who represented President Muhammadu Buhari during the launch of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Area Office complex located on Dandagoro Road, Katsina.
“You will recall that during his address marking the June 12 celebration of 2019, the president made a commitment to the nation that his administration will strive to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
”True to his promise, the president has been churning out initiatives that are directly targeted at not only improving the lot of the poverty-stricken in the country but also address other numerous social problems bedevilling the country, particularly the north.
”According to statistics, there are about 13-14 million out of school children in the north today. The region also ranks highest in terms of poverty and illiteracy levels. It is in this regard that I commend the ITF for its efforts to expand its existing infrastructure in order for more Nigerians to access its services.”
A group, Concerned Nigerians in Canada, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately resign from office following the rising spate of insecurity and poverty in the country.
Decrying latest attacks on helpless citizens by Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East region of Nigeria, the group said that the administration of Buhari had failed woefully in protecting Nigerians and creating avenues for economic empowerment for the people.
In a statement by Convener of the group, Olujimi Adekanle, and addressed to House of Commons Government of Canada, Catholic Archdiocese of Canada, Amnesty International among others, Concerned Nigerians in Canada disclosed that they would soon embark on a global protest against the government of President Buhari for failing to deliver on promises made before coming into office.
The statement reads, “We want to register our fears and utter disappointment at the leadership and government of President Muhammed Buhari.
“Events and heart-breaking happenings in our country as a result of gross incompetence of the Buhari administration can no longer be tolerated judging by the humongous negative effect they are having on our nation.
“We unequivocally submit that Buhari’s government has failed in all departments of governance and he has become nothing but a puppet in the hands of his cabal.
“The recent infighting between the National Security Adviser, General Monguno (retd), and Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, is a signal that all is not well with Nigeria’s security system. Buhari has totally lost it.
“Nigeria went in search of solution and elected a problem, today we have graduated to the third position in global terrorism index after Syria and Iran.
“What is obvious to the whole world is that rather than face good governance and delivery of his campaign promises for public good, Buhari and his cohorts have continued to engage in lethargic divisive ethnic and sectarian sentimentality with alarming impunity.
“We can no longer entrust our collective destiny in the hands of such wicked leaders and therefore call on Nigerian patriots world over to rise up to this occasion to join us to resist Buhari’s government of total failure.
“We want to assure you that a protest will be staged round the globe to finally end a grossly incompetent and self-centred government.
“We beckon on all well-meaning Nigerians to support us in our quest to take our Nigeria back from evil leaders benefiting from terror in our nation.”
In what may be termed the first soothing news of 2020, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Monday reiterated Federal Government’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty this year, in line with a pledge earlier made by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Ahmed, who made the disclosure in a television programme said the fulcrum of achieving that goal would be to provide sufficient enabling environment for small businesses across Nigeria.
She said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that we must pull 100 million Nigerians out of poverty and that is our major focus. Based on the president’s directives, we want to move fast to make the kind of change the president wanted in the country.
“In 2020, we want to move very fast because we realized that going at the steady rate we are doing is not going to make the kind of change that the president has directed must happen.
“So, we have to make sure that we are creating more jobs and reducing unemployment, and pulling as many Nigerians as possible out of poverty. And that is the reason why when we did the finance bill, you will find that the bill was largely targeted at making businesses easy for the small and very small businesses. This is because we believe that is where the economy needs to really grow and stabilize from.”
The World Poverty Clock shocked the federal government in 2019, when it revealed that 91,885,874 people in Nigeria now live in extreme poverty (less than $1.9 or N693.5 per day).
In June 2018, the World Poverty Clock named Nigeria the poverty capital of the world with statistics showing that 87 million people live in poverty.
The latest numbers indicate that from June 2018 to June 2019, four million Nigerians have joined the poverty club occasioned by factors such as unemployment, insecurity, among others.
Industry records show that the Nigerian economy recorded 2.3 per cent GDP growth in 2019, particularly in the telecoms sector.
More so, agricultural growth increased slightly, but remained blighted by insurgency in the northeast region, and incessant farmer-herder conflicts.
Oil sector growth remained stable, but manufacturing production slowed due to the weaker power supply sector. Overall, the slow pace of recovery in 2019 is attributable to weak consumer demand and lower public and private investment.
According to the World Bank, the country’s growth outlook is vulnerable to domestic and global risks. It is facing a sharper than expected slowdown in the global economy, as well as geo-political and trade tensions.