Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs made the call at the formal inaugural ceremony of eight members of the Governing Board of the NNMA on Friday in Abuja.

The Federal Government on Monday in Abuja has set up modalities for the disbursement of 2, 000 buses to cushion effects of subsidy removal.

Dr George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs in his speech at Inter-Ministerial Stakeholders meeting on Poverty Alleviation, said the initiative was also part of programme to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

Akume said the initiative was in collaboration between his ministry, Agriculture and other government agencies saying the disbursement of the buses would be through cooperative societies of Nigeria.

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in his 2019 democracy speech, promised to lift 100 Nigerians out of poverty through numerous governments` initiatives.

“The alleviation of poverty in Nigeria has been and always remains a cardinal agenda of the Administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“You will recall that Mr President in his 2019 Democracy Day address said, With leadership and a sense of purpose, we can lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years,” Akume said.

According to him, the need to tackle and eradicate poverty has become even more accentuated in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effect on the world economy generally.

Akume explained that the difficulties encountered by the recent deregulation of the downstream sector which was aimed at putting the economy on sound footing, also called for need for such initiative.


Also speaking, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, Minister of State for Transport highlighted the importance of the programme.

She said it would ease transportation challenges among the rural farmers in particular.

“The full impact of increasing agricultural productivity would not be realised until we can eliminate the farm-gate and in-transit losses that eroded up to 70 percent of the gains,”she explained.

In his contribution, Mr Abubakar Jibril, Chairman of the Federal Director of Cooperatives assured Nigerians that the cooperative platform would follow the structure of cooperative system operating in Nigeria.

Jibril added that the collation system would be from the grassroots to the national level.

In another development, the Inter-Ministerial Expert Technical Committee (IMETC) set up by the Federal Government to ensure the implementation of President Buhari’s vision, submitted its reports to Akume for onward review.

Speaking on the progress, the IMETC Coordinator, Dr Bassey Ikang said the committee members had fruitful deliberations within one month duration given to them.

Ikang highlighted the terms of reference given to them to work on, which included to develop governance framework of collaboration for the implementation of the President`s vision.

He said the group was also tasked on developing appropriate model for funds mobilization for the execution of poverty reduction, job creation and strengthening Public Private Partnership cooperation among others to deliver on the given mandates.

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