How FG, states plan to lift 24 million Nigerians out of poverty – NGF

President Muhammadu Buhari in a meeting with APC Governors
File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari in a meeting with APC Governors

The Nigerian government has launched a Human Capital Development (HCD) initiative to move 24 million Nigerians out of poverty before 2030.

The plan is a collaboration between the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), according to a statement by the Forum on Friday.

The NGF also said the process had commenced on Monday in Kaduna State and culminated in Ekiti State on Thursday.

The Core Working Group (CWG) of the plan led by Yosola Akinbi of the Vice President’s Office, commenced its sensitisation tour in Kaduna State where it met with the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Sagir Ahmed, the States HCD Focal Person.

According to the statement, the HCD would concentrate on three thematic areas which are education, public health and nutrition and the workforce.

“Human capital is the stock of habits, knowledge, social and personal attributes embodied in the ability to perform labour to produce economic value.

“It is unique and differs from any other capital. It is needed for people to achieve goals, develop and remain innovative,” the NGF said.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported President Muhammadu Buhari reeling out plans to “lay the foundation” for 100 million Nigerians to be lifted out of poverty.

“Our administration’s eight years will have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years,” he said Monday. “This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the World’s Great Nations.”

He was speaking at a retreat for ministers-designate in Abuja.

The president’s claim came despite a report by the World Poverty Clock in 2018 that Nigeria had overtaken India with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty.

According to the report released in May 2018, Nigeria now has an estimated 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared to India’s 73 million.

Data from the World Poverty Clock shows that the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty had increased yearly.

New plan

In achieving the goals of the HCD, Mr Akanbi urged the Kaduna State governor to rise to the occasion and confront the problem head-on by reducing inequality and developing human capital.

According to the statement, Mr El-Rufai said many of the HCD achievements would include the establishment of an ICT innovation Hub, Click Kaduna, where young unemployed people and even sit-at-home mums would find gainful employment and make money, “some in hard currency.”

Mr El-Rufai disclosed that he has established five policy councils that meet between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. every working day and forward their resolutions which serve as the development compass of the state.

”These Policy Councils cover the critical areas of governance like Procurement Council, Infrastructure Council, Economic Development Council and Institutional Development Council and HCD. They are all headed by very senior members of his cabinet.

”The effect of these Councils is that they have brought pragmatism and expertise into governance and made my job easier because now I can sit back and the only assent to their resolutions or reject the same,” Mr El-Rufai said.

This, he also added, has relegated the state executive council in the scheme of things in the state as a result of which “the executive council doesn’t even meet as regularly as it used to, anymore.”

Meanwhile, the NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi has pledged total commitment to the vision of the HCD.

Mr Fayemi said that several HCD plans initiated during his previous administration were jettisoned by his predecessor, adding that they were now gradually being returned to the governance tray.

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