Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in New York, said he was aware that 54 per cent of Nigerians live below poverty line.
This is coming as the All Progressives Congress (APC) has applauded President Buhari on his inspiring address at the United Nations 74th General Assembly in New York.
Buhari made this admission while delivering a keynote address at the Nigeria high-level side-event on "SDG Integration - Bridging the Policy Planning - Budgeting Gap for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals."
However, in the speech which was emailed to journalists in Nigeria, Buhari said it was against the background of his knowledge of the degree of abject poverty in the country that he had made poverty reduction a cardinal objective of his administration.
He also said it was the reason the government in May this year, made a commitment to rescue 100 million Nigerians from poverty in accordance with the principle of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the launch of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP)
"Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am aware from Official Statistics that approximately 54 percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line as defined by World Bank. It is pertinent to state that reducing extreme poverty and hunger is one of the cardinal objectives of our administration.
"It is for this reason that in May this year, we committed ourselves to lifting approximately 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a 10-year period. This is a national development priority and in line with the aspirations of the SDGs. We have since established an ambitious National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) targeting the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population.
"Through the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), we are tackling and addressing the root causes of poverty in all its manifestations. For example, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSF) component is feeding almost 10 Million school pupils daily and empowering over 90, 000 local catering staff across the country," he said.
Buhari also said it was in expression of the federal government's desire to genuinely implement SDGs that the programme was domesticated in Nigeria as Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model in 2017 (iSDG).
Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja commended the president's call for strong action against xenophobia, racism, poverty, climate change, international crimes terrorism and other forms of threat to life.
The ruling party however assured that under the Buhari's administration, Nigeria would remain a reliable and frontline global partner in the promotion of international peace, security and sustainable development.
"From our previously battered international image, it is a thing of immense pride that Nigeria under the President Buhari-led APC administration is being restored to its respectable standing among the committee of progressive nations."
Issa-Onilu added that a stable and developed Nigeria is required to effectively support global efforts in combating and seeking solutions to equally global threats and challenges that we face.
He noted that while the administration works to rebuild the economy, empower our citizens through social investments, curb corruption, check terrorism and other crimes, the Buhari administration has demonstrated its solid commitment to the principles of the United Nations as regards mutual cooperation and partnership with member nations.