Senate President Bukola Saraki has advocated that the Global Britain Fund be judiciously spent on poverty alleviation and economic development of the country.
Saraki, represented by Sen. Ali Wakili, the Chairman Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Welfare made the call at a roundtable by the British High Commission in Abuja.
The UK Government had in 2016 announced a five-year Global Prosperity Fund of 1.3 billion pounds to promote economic reform and development for growth in partner countries.
The fund’s priorities include improving business climate, increasing ability of partners to tackle corruption, competitiveness and operation of markets, energy and financial sector.
Saraki said: “The fund worth 1.3 billion pounds represents another surgical attempt by the British Government to promote economic through poverty alleviation and economic boost.
“We are particularly interested in aspect of the fund which targets promotion of economic reforms and elimination of barriers of trade, public sector reform, strengthening capacity and building strong institutions.
“We are also interested in the aspect that focuses on developing growth sectors such as infrastructure, energy, finance, education and healthcare and providing development assistance to combat poverty.
“The targets are in line with the legislative agenda of the 8th senate which is largely focused on economic reforms and poverty alleviation.’’
Saraki said that as the country battled with economic recession and looming humanitarian situation in the North-East, the Senate welcomed any form of partnership that would address the national challenges.
He said that the Senate would continue to use the instrumentality of laws as a means of social engineering to create conducive atmosphere for economic survival and empowerment of the citizens.
Saraki said that the Senate was currently working on the establishment of National Poverty Alleviation Commission, geared toward establishing a coordinating agency for eradication of poverty in Nigeria.
He reiterated the readiness of the senate to support programmes and initiatives aimed at enthroning sustainability and better livelihood for poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
The Chairman House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Muhammed Wudil, remarked that the lower legislative chamber was also working on the establishment of Poverty Eradication Commission.
He said that the commission would not only centralise the programme but also maintain a reliable database.
According to him, eradication of poverty can only be effective through such institution that have constitutional mandate.
Wudil said that the House of Representatives by virtue of its constitutional responsibilities was working to put in place relevant legislation to achieve UN targets on poverty alleviation.