Governors respond FG, say insecurity, broken promises responsible for the increase in poverty

Nigeria’s governors have blamed insecurity for rising poverty in the country.

The governors also blamed the federal government for failing in its main responsibility: protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.

This was contained in a statement by the Media Director of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Abdulrazak Barkindo.

The NGF statement is a response to a comment by the Minister of State for

National Budget and Planning, Clement Agba, who attributed the poverty rate in Nigeria to the misguided priority of governors.

He blamed governors for prioritizing building infrastructure like bridges and airports in cities and state capitals over improving the lives of people in rural communities.

“The governors are basically running in their state capitals. And the democracy we preach about is delivering the greatest goods to the greatest number of people. And from our demographics, it shows that most of our people live in the rural areas, but the governors are not working in the rural areas,” he said.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) previously announced that more than 133 million Nigerians live in poverty; this figure represents 63 percent of the country’s population.

In its “Multidimensional Poverty Index of Nigeria”, the NBS said that more than half of the poor population cook with dung, firewood or charcoal, rather than cleaner energy.

Responsible FG failure

Governors who described Agba’s comment as shocking also called his claim absurd, without empirical basis and far from the truth.

They said the federal government, which is responsible for the safety of life and property, has failed to honor this pact with the people, allowing bandits, insurgents and kidnappers to turn the country into a death camp, maiming and kidnapping people, in the schools of the market. plazas and even on their farmland.

ALSO READ: Federal government blames governors for rising poverty in Nigeria

“Today, rural areas are insecure, markets are insecure, travel guarantees are unlikely, and life for ordinary people in general is harsh and brutal.”

The Forum wondered how a defenseless rural population can maintain a sustainable lifestyle of peace and harmony when their lives are cut short and they permanently wallow in danger. And why a minister “whose government has failed to guarantee security, law and order has the temerity to blame the governors.”

Edo, Akwa Ibom give reasons

In the statement, the Forum noted that Edo and Akwa Ibom State had responded to the minister’s comment.

Akwa Ibom State said that poverty and unemployment in a country are determined by its economic policy, which is normally set by the central government at the national level.

The state argued that the federal government cannot abdicate its responsibility by blaming the states and asked how economic policies in a state boost the dollar that determines nearly every aspect of the nation’s existence.

The state of Edo described the projects it has implemented and which aim to alleviate poverty among its people.

The minister, the NGF said, is noticeably oblivious to them (the projects) because many other states have been implementing pro-poor programs in his domain.

failed promises

The governors went ahead to point out the irony of the campaign message led by Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, where he promised to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

“Today, records show that more than 130 million Nigerians live below the globally accepted poverty line of one dollar a day,” they said. “Under the current administration of which Mr. Clement Agba is a minister, the national cash cow, the NNPC, had not remitted statutory allocations to states in several months.”

They said the situation had forced governors to rely on other sources of revenue, such as the SFTAS program and other NGF-anchored interventions, to finance activities by states, while money budgeted for federal ministries such as Agriculture, Rural Development and Humanitarian Affairs is not being deployed. towards the people.

“So where does the Minister get his unverified facts and figures? It is important to mention here that just this week the House of Representatives asked Humanitarian Affairs Minister Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk to resign if she was not ready to do her job of alleviating poverty on earth. This, in other words, is a resounding vote of no confidence in the ministers among whom Mr. Agba serves.”

While NGF said it takes no pleasure in “binding issues with the Federal Executive Council,” being a nonpartisan body, it stated its primary mandate is to partner with all institutions, concerns, MDAs, and well-meaning individuals for progress. of the Nigerian people.

The Forum also said that governors today have shown greater receptiveness to the wishes and aspirations of their people, and these vary from state to state. He said that the opinion of a minister, based on a survey of 56,000 households in a country of 200 million people, can never diminish the good work being done by the 36 pro-poor governors.

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