Worried by the worsening poverty level in the country, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, extensively debated the issue and approved a new policy strategy to tackle the menace.

Briefing journalists after the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser (Media & Publicity) to the president, said the council took note of the worrying situation. According to him, the Federal Government was not unaware of the poverty level but was doing something about it. He said it was in that line that FEC approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS).

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Adesina said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is to chair the Steering Committee of the new policy to provide overall guidance for implementation.

He said the council also approved the strategy’s incorporation into the medium-term national development plan 2021-2025 and agenda 2050 and directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to prepare a bill for submission to National Assembly to make the implementation of the strategy sustainable.

Adesina noted that the Presidential Economic Advisory Council had some weeks back submitted the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy to the Federal Executive Council, and it was widely debated on Wednesday, and eventually passed as a conclusion.

He said: “And these are some of the things, the Federal Executive Council noted the worsening poverty situation in the country and the efforts of the federal government to redress that situation. It’s not as if the government is not aware that there is poverty in the land but things are been done. One of it is this National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy that was presented today. The Council also noted that the President applied to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. Actually, by June 12 this year, that promise will be two years old. It was noted that it is a work in progress, and it is work that will get done.

“The council noted that the President has directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the chairman Presidential Economic Advisory Council on the need to come up with a sustainable Poverty Reduction Strategy. And that strategy is what is already codified in this volume and it was widely discussed and passed.

“The council noted the contributions of stakeholders, comments and observations made by FEC members on this volume and the presentation of the NPRGS has been duly incorporated into the strategy.

“They also noted the final articulation of a two-volume, National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy, and its major pillars. The strategy is encapsulated in these two volumes, which you may need to get familiar with the contents of the strategy.”

Also speaking at the briefing, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, regretted the incessant attacks on the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). She said that her ministry was working assiduously to alleviate the suffering of the IDPs and facilitate their return to their homes.

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