About two million vulnerable Nigerians have been impacted by the various projects of the federal government under the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) Committee implemented for the year 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Details of achievements recorded by the NPRGS, an initiative aimed at reducing poverty across Nigeria, indicated that commendable strides had been made in agriculture, rural roads construction, skills and vocational training sectors of the economy
According to checks on the activities of the NPRGS’ Steering Committee, chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), by adopting a different approach based on a common-sense strategy, the various interventions have impacted millions of Nigerians across different sectors in less than a year of operations.
Spokesperson to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, who confirmed the development in a media update, said; “Almost 2 million vulnerable Nigerians have been impacted by various projects implemented by the NPRGS Committee for the year 2022 in agriculture, rural roads construction and skills and vocational training.”
He said at different meetings with Committee members, the Vice President had explained: “how the Buhari administration plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years will not be based on a business-as-usual approach, but a very simple, common-sense strategy that will deliver the results as the President promised.”
Mr Akande said the approach adopted by the Vice President-led team resulted in significant progress made within a very short period of time, even as he said that about 1.6 million smallholder farmers were impacted under the Agriculture for Jobs Plan alone.
Additionally, over 13,000 youths have been trained under a Technical and Vocational Education and Training programme in six States comprising Lagos, Ogun, Enugu, Gombe, Kaduna and Nasarawa, while arrangements are underway to provide similar training for 2000 beneficiaries in Edo State.
Also, the NPRGS implementation monitoring update showed that more than 8,000 Nigerians were employed in rural road construction under the Rural Roads programme which built 40 rural roads in 120 communities, covering about 57.3 km across the country.
For Akande; “Some of the programmes that have achieved 100% completion for the 2022 cycle include; Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), and Construction of Rural Roads, among others”, adding; “A total number of direct beneficiaries of the implemented programmes currently stands at 1,818,782 vulnerable Nigerians and a total of 9,527 Nigerians have also been directly employed through the implementation of the programmes so far.”
The Presidential Media aide further said the “Committee at its last meeting of the administration recently approved the sum N250 billion for the execution of projects for this year running.”
Among the projects scheduled for implementation under the NPRGS for 2023 include: The provision of 100,000 homes for low-income earners which will create 1 million jobs directly and indirectly; The expansion of energy access by providing 1,200 solar street lights in rural communities and 6 mini-grids for high-capacity productive farming under the Solar Naija Programme; and The Creation of 4.5 million direct and indirect jobs through the Rural Roads programme which targets to connect about 750 rural markets.
Others are; The provision of N9 billion support for over 1.6 million vulnerable smallholder farmers for the 2023 wet season farming under the Agriculture for Jobs Plan; and The expansion of the National Social Register with an additional three (3) million households.
Meanwhile, speaking with State House Correspondents at the end of its last meeting in April, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, who is also the Co-Chair of the Technical Working Group for the Committee, had expressed optimism that despite challenges and issues associated with the transition of governments, efforts were underway to touch each of the targeted areas of implementation.
Members of the National Steering Committee of Nigeria’s National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Chief of Staff to Mr President; Governor of Ekiti State (South West); Governor of Delta State (South-South); Governor of Sokoto State (North West); Governor of Borno State (North East); Governor of Nasarawa State (North Central); and Governor of Ebonyi State (South East).
Other Committee members are the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning; the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; the Minister of Labour and Employment; the Minister of Education; the Minister of Health; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments.