We will protect Nigerians from falling into poverty – Betta Edu  

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has said that the government is working to ensure that many Nigerians are protected from falling into poverty as it rolls out programs to lift those already in it. 

The Minister, who stated this in a statement by her Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Mr Rasheed Zubair, on Sunday, said more Nigerians would be prevented from falling into poverty through the Ministry’s social safety programme.

This is even as she disclosed that President Tinubu is also “coming up with a very robust program to lift Nigerians out of poverty. 

  • “Our work is to see how we can get those in poverty out and those on the verge of getting into poverty move to social safety to protect them from falling into poverty. In a couple of weeks, we will be fully launching into this plan to take over 136 million Nigerians out of poverty as implementation has started to help cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal,” she said. 

Verification of social register 

She said the ministry had come up with innovative ways of thorough verification of the social register for accuracy and transparency. 

  • “We are bringing innovations to ensure transparency in Conditional Cash Transfer by carrying out a thorough verification of the social register, validating and then expanding it to accommodate more persons. We will be working with the World Bank while seeking approval from the President to begin the Conditional Cash Transfer to Nigerians” she said. 

The minister promised to upgrade, rejig, and expand the social safety net program to accommodate more people through a transparent process. 

  • “We want to increase the Social Safety Net for Nigerians in a transparent manner by counting the numbers together just as we counted COVID-19 cases using a digitalized system. We are very conscious of the fact that Mr. President’s passion and true intentions are to ensure that we can lift Nigerians out of poverty. 
  • “Party politics is over, now is time for governance, President Tinubu is a president for everyone irrespective of political party,” she said. 

She therefore assured Nigerians that the ministry would soon come up with an accurate and acceptable social register to curb the challenge associated with disparity in the register. 

  • Ministry would soon come up with a more acceptable Social Register, one that will be verified, validated.  It will also be expanded to include those who should be there while taking off those who no longer belong within that bracket. We will also work with all tiers of government as well as various communities to identify persons eligible for the scheme.” she added. 


Humanitarian intervention 

The Minister disclosed that no fewer than 8.3 million Nigerians are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

According to her, the figure is part of the total 16 million Nigerians affected by various humanitarian crises, with the three states worse hit.

She said aside from the North-East, Benue in the North/Central had been tagged the capital of humanitarian crises in Nigeria by the United Nations. 

  • “We have a huge task on our hands, as we speak now, over 16m Nigerians are affected by humanitarian crises either man-made or natural disasters with over 8.3m of them based in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe. 
  • Several states in the North Central; and others spread across the country. The UN said Benue had become the humanitarian need capital in Nigeria, and as such, a lot of work needs to be done in the humanitarian angle,” she said. 


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