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Lift 100m Out Of Poverty, Buhari Charges Economic Advisory Council

Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday mandated the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to find ways of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of the poverty bracket within a ten-year timeframe.

Buhari gave the eight-man council the charge while administering oaths of office on members at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He also tasked the new economic team led by Prof. Doyin Salami, a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to develop reliable data that would aid development programmes.

“Find a way to coordinate and synthesize ideas and efforts on how to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, working in collaboration with various employment generating agencies of government,” he told the EAC.

Other members that constitute the eight-man council are Muhammed Sagagi, Ode Ojowu, Shehu Yahaya, Iyabo Masha, Chukwuma Soludo, Bismark Rewane, and Mohammed Adaya Salisu.

While lamenting the dearth of reliable data, Buhari said it was disheartening to know that foreigners stay in their comfort zones and gather data which does not properly reflect what is happening in Nigeria.

“What I see as your most important national assignment is that as you develop your baseline study, I would like you to focus on primary data collection.

“Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF, and other foreign bodies.

“Some of the statistics we get relating to Nigeria are wild estimates and bear little relation to the facts on the ground.

“This is disturbing as it implies we are not fully aware of what is happening in our own country.

“We can only plan realistically when we have reliable data. As you are aware, as a government, we prioritised agriculture as a critical sector to create jobs and bring prosperity to our rural communities.

“Our programmes covered the entire agricultural value chain from seed to fertiliser to grains and ultimately, our dishes.

“As you travel in some rural communities, you can clearly see the impact. However, the absence of reliable data is hindering our ability to upgrade these programmes and assure their sustainability,” he stated.

The council, constituted on September 16, 2019, to replace the Economic Management Team (EMT) headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was also mandated to develop a baseline study that will help shape ideas for a sustainable and prosperous future, especially as it affects internally displaced persons in the North East.

On the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), the president told members that his administration was working to measure the impact of the programme targeted at improving the well-being of millions of poor and vulnerable citizens.

As such, the president said he had directed the new Minister for Humanitarian Affairs to commence a comprehensive data-gathering exercise in all internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps in the North East.

“Today, we hear international organisations claiming to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IDPs in the North East. But when you visit the camps, you rarely see the impact.

“In 2017, when the National Emergency Management Agency took over the feeding of some IDPs in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, the amount we spent was significantly lower than the claims made by these international organisations.

“Therefore, actionable data is critical to implement effective strategies to address pressing problems such as these humanitarian issues.

“I, therefore, look forward to receiving your baseline study as this will help us shape ideas for a sustainable and prosperous future,” the president said.

While making further remarks, he said: “I am told you worked throughout last weekend in preparation for this meeting.

“I have listened attentively to findings and ideas on how to move the country and the economy forward.

“Yes, Nigeria has exited the recession, but our reported growth rate is still not fast enough to create the jobs we need to meet our national ambition of collective prosperity.

“Reason being we had to tread carefully in view of the mess we inherited.

“Many of the ideas we developed in the last four years were targeted at returning Nigeria to the path of growth.

“I am sure you will also appreciate that during that time, our country was also facing serious challenges, especially in the areas of insecurity and massive corruption.

“Therefore, I will be the first to admit that our plans were conservative. We had to avoid reckless and not well thought out policies.

“However, it was very clear to me after we exited the recession that we needed to re-energise our economic growth plans. This is what I expect from you.”

President Buhari assured the council that the Federal Government would ensure that all their needs and requests were met before the next technical session in November.

He said all key ministries, departments, and agencies would be available to meet and discuss with them on how to collectively build a new Nigeria that caters for all.

“Now, no one person or a group of persons has a monopoly of knowledge, or wisdom, or patriotism.

“In the circumstances, you may feel free to co-opt, consult and defer to any knowledgeable person if, in your opinion, such a move enriches your deliberations and add to the quality of your decisions,” the president said.

Chairman of the council, Professor Salami, said the mandate was about “Nigeria first, Nigeria second, and Nigeria always”, adding that it was about Nigerians, not as numbers, but as people.

He added: “Our goal is that the economy grows in a manner that is rapid, inclusive, sustained, and sustainable, so that Nigerians will feel the impact.”

My Second Term Will Be More Inclusive, Buhari Promises

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to be more inclusive and impact more on the lives of Nigerians before his second term ends in 2023.

He made the promise at State House, Abuja, on Wednesday when he received some ministers who served with him as military head of state between January 1984 and August 1985.

The president recalled “how we got things done then”, because it was a military administration, and pledged to “carry everyone along on my last lap as a democratically elected leader”.

A statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, quoted the president as thanking the former ministers “for being consistently in touch”, and particularly lauded the military for building Abuja as the nation’s new federal capital.

A minute silence was observed in memory of those who had passed on among the former ministers.

Leader of the delegation, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who served as Minister of External Affairs, said the team came to congratulate the president on his achievements in security, foreign affairs, anti-corruption, education, and many others.

“We were appointed 35 years and nine months ago. Eighteen of us were sworn in. Your leadership was firm, but you also gave us free hand to operate.

“You knew what each person was doing. We will never forget the opportunity you gave us. We remain patriots,” Professor Gambari said.

He commended the president on the newly constituted Economic Advisory Council, adding that the same should be considered for security and foreign affairs.

Other former ministers in the team were Major General Muhammed Magoro (Internal Affairs), Dr. Emmanuel Nsan (Health), Alhaji Ibrahim Yakima Abdullah (Education), and Brig-Gen Ahmed Abdullahi (Communications).

The post Lift 100m Out Of Poverty, Buhari Charges Economic Advisory Council appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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