Betta Edu re-awakens hope as Tinubu bids to fight poverty, unemployment

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has signalled the desire of President Bola Tinubu administration to ameliorate poverty among the citizenry.

Shortly after her swearing in Abuja, Edu declared: “A lot of interventions will come under the humanitarian plan.

“The important one will be the commencement of Humanitarian Trust Fund where there will be a full-blown resource mobilisation that will help Nigerians meet their need.”

She spoke during her maiden meeting with management staff of the ministry.

She further declared “Federal Government’s unwavering commitment to lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals target’’.

She also used the occasion to announce part of Tinubu administration’s plans to tackle unemployment, saying the ministry was mandated to create 10 million new jobs in addition to humanitarian interventions.

“Every strata of the society including women, men, children and people living with disabilities would benefit from the various poverty alleviation schemes the government would soon unveil.

“President Bola Tinubu has a clear vision on what he intends to do to eradicate poverty in line with the SDGs which states that poverty should be eradicated by 2030.

“This explains why the president is fully committed to pulling Nigerians out of poverty.

“The President believes that by the end of his administration there wouldn’t be any Nigerian living under one dollar ninety five cents a day.

“The president has put in place a robust poverty alleviation and humanitarian plans that will pull vulnerable Nigerians out of poverty; we will be looking at job creation in their millions“, Edu said.

She said the ministry would achieve the target through different interventions and initiatives aimed at lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

“What is most important is that we will keep our focus on lifting 133 million Nigerians out of poverty; we can do it in phases, a step at a time.

“We will play down on politics.

We are here to face the real business of governance; we need to bring smiles back to the faces of Nigerians.

“We must reach out to those who are underserved and renew their hope” she said.

Similarly, while hosting a delegation from UNICEF led by its Country Representative, Cristian Munduate, Edu pledged swifter and more coordinated response to emergencies.

During the event UNICEF pledged to commit 270 million dollars to support Nigeria’s efforts in humanitarian response and poverty alleviation.

“We will also support the development of a Humanitarian Response Protocol for Nigeria to guide all Humanitarian Actors as this will facilitate effective coordination.

“We will support the establishment of a National Humanitarian Situation Room or Humanitarian Emergency Operation Centre (H-EOC) to monitor, mitigate and prevent Humanitarian Emergencies and build resilience in the system”, she said.

Again, the minister emphasised the aspiration of the government to eliminate poverty from the shores of the country.

“This especially the 71 million extremely poor Nigerians who leave under one dollar ninety-five cents a day“, she said.

She urged UNICEF to as a matter of urgency draw up their plan of action towards supporting the federal government efforts on poverty alleviation.

“Time is of essence and we need to run at the speed of light to roll out social programmes that will bring relieve to the burdens of the poor.

“Nigerians are eagerly waiting for full implementation of the renewed hope agenda and the time for intense action is now” she said.

While receiving another delegation from University of Calabar, the Edu said the government would explore skills development as a tool for fighting poverty and unemployment among young people.

The delegation was led by the Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof. Florence Obi.

“So, the Federal Government is ready to partner with the university to train the trainers with skill acquisition-based knowledge to redistribute wealth and reduce poverty in the country.

“We are delighted that the university’s Skill Acquisition and Vocational Center would come in handy in training thousands of youths, thereby reducing unemployment and social tension.

“We are going to partner with your university and others across the country in realising this set objectives “, she said.

Previous administrations have failed in their promises to end poverty in the country in spite of various programmes and interventions such as N-Power, Youth Employment Scheme, more famously the National Poverty Eradication Programmes.

Rather than poverty rate chart has been on upward curve.

A 2022 National Bureau of Statistics report says 63 per cent of persons living within Nigeria, representing 133 million people, are multi-dimensionally poor.

Observers say the poverty alleviation assurance and marshal plan by the Tinubu administration is a welcome development and hope that words will be matched with action

Source: News Agency of Nigeria