By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Wednesday, expressed doubt over ability of President Muhammadu Buhari’s newly inaugurated National Steering Committee, NSC, of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy, NPRGS, amid challenging economic realities including insecurity.
Speaking with Vanguard on the committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, while analysing possibility of achieving the tall presidential order of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years.
Rafsanjani said: “I do not have much confidence that the President intends to achieve the target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty since it took the President more than two years to set up this committee since he made the promise more than two years ago.
“More so, within the 10 years target, he has control over just two years as the next administration may jettison the idea altogether. I also think that Mr President is over-ambitious with his target setting looking at the current reality of; dwindling resources; rising debt profile; rising unemployment; nation-wide insecurity; and galloping inflation.
“I will think that the focus of Mr President will be to address some of these underlying societal problems as their eradication will reduce level poverty in the country.”
However, he said setting up of the committee to tackle poverty in the country is the right step in the right direction.
“However, we hope that the committee will swing into action immediately as this administration barely has two years left to the end of the administration”, he said.
He also expressed hope and called on the committee to come up with achievable strategies and measures that would really tackle poverty crisis across the country, “On the positive side, we will hope that the committee will be more creative in devising innovative means of addressing the above-mentioned challenges if anything close to the target must be met.
“The committee should also come up with short-term measures that will reduce the current hardship in the land as a large population of Nigerians is going to bed on an empty stomach on a daily basis.
“From our observation of this year farming season, things might even be getting worst next year as more people are been displaced from their homes by the bandit couple with the poor rainfall this year, there is a possibility to witness worsened food insecurity in the country.”
On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) to be chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
President Buhari in his remarks maintained that his administration remains committed to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, with a well-researched framework for implementation and funding.