I will prioritise poor and vulnerable Nigerians welfare till 2023, says Buhari

The President Major General Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said he would remain committed to protecting and lifting the poor and vulnerable from poverty cycle till the end of his tenure in 2023.

The President gave the assurance while speaking at the virtual official presentation of the Country Review Report of Nigeria to the 31st Africa Peer Review Forum of the African Union, according to a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘Poor and Vulnerable in Nigeria Will Continue to Enjoy Social Safety Nets, Says President Buhari’.

Buhari noted that the poor’s social safety nets would be further sustained, while access to education and opportunities would be expanded.

He promised that his government would also take advantage of Information, Communication and Technology to ensure inclusiveness, access and create more opportunities.

“Your Excellencies, Nigeria’s strategic focus, as we set out to achieve the objectives of the African Union Agenda 2063, has been around the following: Building a thriving and sustainable economy; Enhancing social inclusion and alleviating poverty; Enlarging agricultural output for food security and sufficiency; Attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products.

“Expanding transport and other infrastructural development, business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialisation; Access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity, social cohesion and security; and, building a system that fights corruption and improve governance.

“Nigeria remains resolutely committed to achieving these set goals despite the challenges that the report highlighted, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria remains committed to providing social safety nets for the poor and most vulnerable in our society, while also taking advantage of the huge opportunities offered by the information and technology sector,’’ he said.

The President reiterated that Nigeria had remained a committed and dedicated member of the African Peer Review family, after acceding to the Mechanism in 2003.

“Today, the forum has presented its second peer review report on Nigeria.

“This Second Peer Review of Nigeria came at a critical time in the history of the country. From the report just presented, there is no doubt that the exercise was far reaching, as it touched the various segments of Nigeria’s political-economy and highlighted the progress recorded since the first peer review.

“The report also highlighted some challenges and as a country, we are prepared to review those challenges in the context of our internal dynamics in Nigeria, ultimately with the determination of achieving Agenda 2063 goals of the African Union,’’ he added.

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