Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government is focusing on more creative ways of getting Nigerians out of poverty and also improve the country’s Human Capital Development indices.
Osinbajo made this known while chairing a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), Steering Committee on Human Capital Development on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that the Federal Government was committed to lifting Nigerians out of poverty as a crucial agenda towards attaining intended development outcomes.
“Poverty, as we know, is both a cause and consequence of some of what we are looking at in our human capital development deficit.
“Really, I think we need to focus a lot more on some of the more creative ways of getting our people out of poverty.
“ And of course, we have some social investment programmes, we are looking at some of the examples of what India did, some have been tried and tested in such huge populations.
“I think there is a need for us to sensitise our people to why we need to get a large segment of our people out of poverty. Recently, we have been launching the TraderMoni scheme, which is basically giving credits to petty traders across the country in the markets and all that.
“We must do even more in terms of giving credits and whatever assistance and support to people.
“Obviously, the more money people have, the better it is for them, so they can apply their little resources to some of what we are expected to do to improve human capital development,” he said.
Osinbajo harped on the importance of improving data collection at all levels so as to ensure effective tracking of Human Capital Development outcome areas in the states.
On his part, Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, told State House correspondents that the Dangote Foundation was committing 50 million dollars to the fight against malnutrition in Nigeria.
Dangote said that the foundation was focused on three major areas-health, education and empowerment.
“I think we really need to wake up and meet most of our development goals, in education, in health, and also in empowerment.
“One of the things that we are doing is to make sure that we tackle malnutrition.
“The Dangote Foundation has announced a decision to spend 50 million dollars so that we can fight malnutrition in most of the states that are affected, which we have started rolling out,” he said.
He said that the foundation joined the committee to make sure that targets were set and met.
On his part, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that the committee was the working group that had been meeting to look at the impact of government intervention programmes in the economy, education, health, among others.
“The issue of Human Capital Development is a measure of how we care for our citizens; and so, this is like bringing everybody to the table at the highest level.
“We have the governors, and there is a renewed commitment even at the states because we cannot go far except the states are really on the table.
“There is enough Federal Government commitment; enough of Federal Government involvement, but we need to bring the states on board,’’ he said.
Speaking, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, said that the committee received a presentation on the framework for further investments in the key areas of health, education, social inclusion as well as empowerment.
“We had a very good meeting and we hope that the outcome of the meeting and the work of the core working group will bring out very clear plans and strategies to invest more in education, healthcare, nutrition, empowerment, gender inclusion, as well as job creation for our young people,’’ he said.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma.
There were also representations from development partners- World Bank, DFID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.