Since her assumption of office on August 21, 2023, the Minister of Humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has taken the originate the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Therefore as the world marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, PAUL OKAH outlines the activities of the minister eradicating poverty in the last few months.
It is no longer news that millions of Nigerians are living in a poverty, a situation that has warranted the federal government to initiate different programmes coordinated by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation aimed at relieve the poor living conditions of Nigerians.
Upon her assumption of office on August 21 2023, the minister, Dr Betta Edu made it known that she would walk the talk by ensuring that the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is achieved as it is unlikely and incredible for Nigerians to remain in poverty whereas they have a president with a human heart and listening ear.
Therefore, from the first day, Dr. Betta Edu initiated plans to eradicate poverty. This includes seeking collaboration of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) that would contribute to her plan for the eradication of poverty. It also includes visiting different states across the country for the distribution of palliatives.
He said, “Zamfara has suffered in terms of insecurity and humanitarian crisis in the last 10 years. I call on the federal government to do more to secure the lives and property of our people while asking for more social and capital investments in Zamfara state to take our people out of humanitarian crises and poverty.”
Taking free medical outreach, food items to Lagos community
On October 3, inhabitants of Oko Agbon and other riverine communities in Lagos state were in jubilant mood as no fewer than 1,500 of them benefitted from the free medical outreach and distribution of food items by the ministry.
The outreach was part of the minister’s itinerary during her visit to the riverine area of the state to flag off the verification of the Expanded National Social Register (ENSR).
Dr Betta Edu, who personally conducted some of the medical tests and administered free drugs to patients at St John Catholic Church Oko Agbon area of Yaba local government area of the state, said part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu is to reduce poverty through addressing it from different dimensions.
Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme.
The minister announced this on October 5 when she met with the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) led by its president Comrade Joe Ajaero at the Labour House in Abuja. She explained that the decision to include vulnerable pensioners in the CCT scheme was President Tinubu’s commitment to labour leaders which he promised to deliver.
She appealed to the NLC to help fast-track the process of collating data of would-be vulnerable pensioners’ beneficiaries so that they can start receiving CCT.
Responding, Ajaero expressed delight at the various poverty alleviation schemes rolled out by the ministry, saying getting to the root cause of poverty would go a long way in addressing the problem. The NLC boss urged the federal government to create more jobs by creating a productive economy where factories function to employ more workers.
The president, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Godwin Abumisi, thanked President Tinubu and the minister for finding the retirees worthy of the federal government benefits, saying pensioners received as low as between five and 10,000 Naira monthly.
Dr. Betta Edu said the federal government has expanded the welfare scheme to accommodate ex-servicemen, their widows and dependants in fulfilment of the Renewed Hope Agenda the president promise Nigerians.
She sought accurate data on the affected ex-servicemen and their dependants to enable them get captured in the ongoing National Social Register Verification.
Dr Betta Edu equally called on the Ministry of Defence to collaborate with her ministry to ensure President Tinubu succeeds in eradicating poverty in Nigeria.
In his response, the Hon minister of defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, said the visit was timely and thanked Dr Edu for including the retirees in the welfare scheme, which he said would go a long way in renewing the hope of retired officers and their families and motivate the working officers to secure the Nigerian territorial integrity.