By Emma Una
CALABAR – NIGERIA’S VICE PRESIDENT, Professor Yomi Osibanjo says no decent nation can tolerate the level of poverty currently ravaging the country and unless there is a functional social system where the highly vulnerable are assisted to survive, vast majority of the population would die before long.
Professor Osibanjo who stated this in Calabar on Thursday while delivering a keynote address on the 10th anniversary of Late High Court Judge, Peter Bassey Foundation lecture said those against the Federal Government’s policy of Conditional cash Transfer where those without jobs would be given the sum of N5,000 each to assist them are only being callous and ignorant of the pitiable plight of large numbers of the population in the country.
“Social protection system is absolutely essential to assist the highly vulnerable in our society but I hear some critics say that people should work to earn money but the only way out for now is to ensure that people who earn nothing can eat to avoid preventable deaths”
He said while the government is working towards creating jobs and enabling the private sector to revamp and build industries to provide employment, government has a responsibility to ensure that the vast majority of Nigerians who are extremity poor are catered for through the conditional cash transfer system to enable them eat and take care of their health needs. “If we have to wait until the industries are functional and the government is able to provide jobs for everyone, most people would be dead by the time we get to that stage”