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National Assembly Working On Legislation To End Grinding Poverty In Nigeria – Dogara | The Precision

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Yakubu Dogara kicks the ball to flag off the awareness programme
Speaker
of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said that the
legislature in the process of passing laws to tackle poverty in Nigeria. 
Dogara,
who stated that poverty eradication is closely linked to food security
and rural development, also highlighted the relationship between poverty
and social unrest. 
He
made this known while delivering a remarks at a sensitisation programme
tagged “kick out poverty” organised by Elizabeth Foundation, a
non-governmental organization in Abuja on Sunday to commemorate the United Nations Day for Eradication of Poverty on Sunday.
The
Speaker noted that recent data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics
indicate that fewer than 112 million Nigerians (representing 67.1%) of
the country’s estimated population of 167 million people) now live below
poverty level. 
“The global poor is already above the One Billion mark. UNDP sources rate Nigeria’s poverty rate at 62.6% per capita income at $1,280 and
human development index at 0.47. These figures are simply unacceptable
and challenge all of us to rise to the occasion and vanquish poverty,
want, disease and ignorance not only in Nigeria but in the whole world.
It is inconsistent with the social objectives set out in Chapter 2 of
the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy in
our Constitution.”
“I
dare say that there is also a nexus between poverty and social unrest
and insurgency. Thus, as it is clear from the theme for this year’s
International Day for Eradication of Poverty, poverty eradication is a
sure path to peace building. A society with more satisfied basic needs
is less likely to turn to violence in solving its problems.”
He
cited previous attempts at eradicating poverty through several
programmes and policies, including those geared towards providing
primary healthcare and developing agriculture, and highlighted some of
the challenges which hindered the operations of these agencies.
“Nigeria
as a country has evolved several programmes and policies and also set
up several institutions to deal with the menace of poverty. These can be
identified in the National Rolling Plans. Some of these programmes
include: Operation Feed the Nation OFN), Green Revolution, Better Life
for Rural Women, Family Economic Advancement Programme and more
recently, National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). They also
include Primary Healthcare programme (aimed) at bringing preventive
health to the grassroots); Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) in
all states of the Federation; establishment of the People’s Bank (to
extend small credit facilities to small businesses in the formal sector
of the economy); National Economic Recovery Fund (to provide easy access
to credit by small and medium scale enterprises); National Directorate
of Employment (to promote self-employment); SURE-P (a waste to wealth,
self-employment programme); SMEDAN; NHIS; Several Agricultural and rural
development policies, programmes and institutions are in place. Indeed
the entire MDG and now SDG programmes which Nigeria is committed to
deals substantially with the question of poverty eradication.”
“Some
of these programmes  have been successful, some have not due to a
variety of reasons which include poor funding, lack of proper
coordination and commitment, poor design and evaluation mechanisms, lack
of continuity occasioned by regime change, corruption, lack of
‘community ownership’ arising from top-bottom approach, etc.”
He
also spoke on efforts being made by the National Assembly to stem the
tide of poverty in the country and the proposed legislation to create
the National Poverty Eradication Commission, which would see to the
sustainable implementation of poverty eradication programmes.
“The
National Assembly of Nigeria has been involved over the year in the
fight against poverty. You may wish to note that, the National Assembly
is presently processing a Bill which seeks to create a National Poverty
Eradication Commission. The objective of the Commission is to among
other things, ensure the sustainable implementation of poverty
eradication programmes, maintain outreach with International Donor
organisations and create social safety nets for the poor.”
“Also,
both the Legislative Agenda of the 8th House of Representatives and the
Senate emphasise the commitment to promotion of pro-people legislative
measures and interventions to reduce poverty. In the House of
Representatives in particular, there is a standing Committee on Poverty
Eradication. Indeed, the National Assembly has either passed or is in
the process of passing many laws aimed at building infrastructure and
tackling poverty. Indeed government anti poverty programmes and Sovocial
Safety Nets policy and programmes like N-Power, Conditional Cash
Transfers to the poor, School Feeding Programme, has received
enthusiastic budgetary support by the National Assembly.”
The
Speaker advocated for enhanced focus on integrated human development
policies, including income generation, human capital development and
capacity building programmes for the poor, an increased role for
non-state actors like NGOs and faith-based organisations in the fight
against poverty, greater participation and partnership with the media in
highlighting the poor and vulnerable in our society as well as
opportunities available for exiting poverty, a legislative and legal
framework for ensuring the sustainability of pro-poor programs, policies
and projects, greater investment by the Executive arm of government in
providing opportunities and safety nets for the poor, and greater
emphasis on affordable quality education for all.
He
further urged all stakeholders to sustain sensitization efforts and
called for all hands to be on deck in order to attain the goal of
eradicating poverty by 2030. 

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