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Reps, stakeholders advocate continuity in FG’s poverty reduction programmes.

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.School feeding raises pupils’ enrolment–UBEC

 From Jonas Ezieke, Abuja


The House of Representatives and other key stakeholders have called for the continuity of the federal government’s poverty reduction programmes from one administration to another to address the ravaging poverty among the citizenry even as the lawmakers assures of  strengthening the legal framework for advancement of common good by it.


The call was the outcome of a one day public hearing organised jointly by the House Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity and the House Committee on poverty Alleviation on two bills relating to poverty alleviation and reduction in Nigeria.


The hearing is on a bill titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide Legal Framework for the Establishment of National Social Investment Programmes For The Assistance And Empowerment of the Poor And Vulnerable  In Nigeria And to Establish the National Social Investment Programme Coordinating Office Within The Ministry Responsible for Social Development to Manage the Implementation of the Programmes And for Related Matters’



Speaking while declaring the event open, Speaker of the House Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila said that there is need to improve on the well being of the downtrodden as citizens of Nigeria.


Gbajabiamila a co-sponsor of the bill with other principal officers of the House said that the bill seeks to establish a legal framework fo the National Social Investment Programme of the present federal government.


Represented by the House Leader Hon.Ado Doguwa, the speaker said that the need to consolidate the existing laws on poverty alleviation and establish a Trust Fund for government interventions in poverty eradication is very imperative.


He said:” All the recommendations, inputs and viewpoints expressed in this hearing ‘ll form part of the House decision in enacting the law to strengthen the poverty eradication programmes


“The second bill will establish a trust fund for the effective implementation of the social investment programme”


Similarly, Chairman of the House Committee Hon Abdullahi B.Salame said that the need to establish a coordinating office in the relevant ministry in charge of humanitarian affairs is key in deriving maximum output in the efforts of the government on the issue.


The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in a presentation by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Bashir Alkali said that the need to strengthen the laws in these poverty reduction programme’s implementations cannot be overemphasized.


He pointed out that the President Muhammadu Buhari initiated the N-Power, the school feeding, the National Social Investment Programme and the home grown programme to address the level of poverty among the citizenry by engaging the youths in such ventures.


Noting that the present administration had done well in tackling humanitarian issues, he however warned against establishing non enduring institutions to tackle such issues as consistency is key.


Also in a prsentation at the hearing the Executive Secretary Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC Mr Hamid Bobboyi represented by an official of the agency Ms Patricia Oche said that school enrolment had increased due to the school feeding programme.


She said: “School enrolment has increased due to the school feeding programme. It is expected to be feeding nine million pupils yearly and the programme has taken off in thirty four states except Kwara and Bayelsa”


Other stakeholders as the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC and the National Youths Service Corps NYSC lauded the proposal by the House to amend the existing law to mainstream poverty eradication issues in Nigeria saying that it is well concieved.


The House Committee Chairman Hon. Salame and Co-Chairman Hon.Ali Wudil assured the stakeholders of the joint Committee’s resolve to sieve the viewpoints expressed at the hearing to come up with an all encompassing law on poverty reduction and eradication.

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