7 September 2012

Nigeria Considers Brazilian Model of Poverty Reduction

The office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is considering the adoption of the Brazilian model on poverty reduction and social protection, a statement issued in Abuja by the office has said yesterday.

The statement issued by the Deputy Director, Information, Kene N. Offie said the move is informed by the desire of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Kalamba Gbeneol towards the attainment of the millennium goals, particularly those related to poverty and hunger reduction, health and education ahead of the 2015 deadline.

The statement noted that it was in relation to this that some key officials in government including the House Committee Chairman on MDGs, Hon Ado Doguwa recently visited Brazil to understudy the Brazilian social protection system and Bolsa Familia.

The South American country is reputed to have recorded huge success in the area of poverty reduction through the use of the world's acclaimed 'Bolsa Familia Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT)' and other complementary social protection programmes.

Brazil was also able to meet the MDGs goal one of halving the number of poor people and eliminating hunger within five years of the millennium Goals Declaration.

The statement quoted Gbeneol as saying that the lessons learnt from the study tour would help the MDGs office in strengthening the social safety interventions to the pro-poor in the country as the office moves to fast-track implementation efforts ahead of 2015.

According to Gbeneol, Nigeria operates a CCT scheme similar to that of Brazil in that it is modelled to help attain achievement of health and education. But with the new experience, the office is poised to work with key stakeholders in proffering better solutions to current implementation challenges.

The presidential aide, who observed that education is key in the eradication of poverty, noted that Social Protection Schemes help to develop the people who in turn develop the economy.

The Bolsa Familia formerly known as Bolsa Escolor was founded in 1995 by Senator Cristovan Buoque when he was the governor of Brazillia. It was later transformed to a National program by the Lula da Silva's administration.

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