Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has told the African Union that over 110 million Nigerians are living in poverty.
Osinbajo said this during a program on Africa and Sustainable Development Goals, organised by President John Mahama of Ghana.
The VP also called on African nations to work out ways of raising the living standard of their citizens.
Osinbajo also shed more light on the social protection program of the Buhari-led administration.
The Vice President, in a speech made available to newsmen by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said “In Nigeria, in the current budget cycle, we have the largest social protection programme in the history of the country. It’s a N500bn programme-(worth over $2.5bnas at the time budget was signed.)
“Basically, we are looking at lifting many out of poverty, of course many are familiar with the size of the Nigerian state and we have close to hundred and ten million people who are poor and about two-tenth are in extreme poverty.
“So it is a very huge problem and part of what we are trying to do is to look at how not just to empower people but also to ensure that what they are given is sustainable.
“For the women, we are doing a programme, micro-credit programme for a million market women and artisans.
“All would be given facilities, training facilities as well to enable them to be able to do some work for themselves and to continue to be able to live.”
He also said “In determining who the poorest is, we had problems on that, but we have very good assistance from the World Bank and the Bill Gates Foundation. They helped in trying to map the really poor.
“We had to get inside the communities looking for the poorest of the poor with the small sum of money which is about N5000 (which is roughly about $25 dollars or there about) which is a sum of money that would be given to the poorest every month, which may enable them feed themselves and find something that they may do and on the condition that they send their children to school and participate in immunisation.
“So we are really excited about some of the works we are trying to do around the SDGs and we are hopeful that we’ll be able to get the Social Protection Programme working.
“We just recently appointed a Senior Special Assistant on SDGs. We also have a full SDG Implementation office which is fully equipped and we hope to be able to carry out all of the proposals we made and effect them within the shortest possible time.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is currently representing President Buhari at the 27th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) in Kigali, Rwanda.
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