Nigeria has proposed the establishment of a private equity fund, the Nigeria Investment and Growth Fund (NIG-Fund), to lead the country’s resource mobilization drive toward government efforts to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
The NIG-Fund would also manage the resources so mobilised in a sustainable manner,” According to President Mohammadu Buhari on Tuesday while inaugurating the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS).
President Buhari reiterating his commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, with a well-researched framework for implementation and funding.
NPRGS, which will be chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would address the underlying causes of poverty on the basis of which it developed programmes that would deal with the multi-dimensional nature of poverty within the practical context of comparative advantage of human and natural resources in the various geo-political zones.
“The major challenge before this National Steering Committee is to translate our good intention into positive impact of the average Nigerian so that we create an appreciative impact on the poverty situation in our country.
“If India can lift 271million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, Nigeria can surely lift 100million out of poverty in 10 years.
“Fortunately, we have already started but we need to unlock the challenges of slow implementation, inappropriate targeting and absence of adequate resources,” the president stated.
President Buhari listed the responsibilities of the steering committee to include: anchor collaborative efforts; provide oversight for the implementation of the strategy; provide guidance to Technical Working Group and Federal Ministries, Extra Ministerial Departments and Agencies, subnational governments and other stakeholders on meeting the objectives of the programme as well as monitoring progress and any other effort that would enhance attainment of the objective of lifting 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years.
According to the President: “The performance of our economy despite COVID-19 gives me comfort that we can achieve our goal but we need to seriously scale up and work more with state and local governments.
“This call becomes more pertinent in the face of recent forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and our own Nigerian Economic Summit Group which all agreed that Nigeria needs to frontally tackle her poverty situation if our economic gains are to be sustained.’’
President Buhari said the National Steering Committee of Nigeria’s National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy also include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, 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 members of the committee are: Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Minister of Labour and Employment, Minister of Education and Minister of Health.
President Buhari charged the committee to commence work immediately so that the Technical Working Group would also begin putting the nuts and bolts together.