DEMOCRACY DAY: We Have Lifted 10.5Million Nigerians Out of Poverty—Buhari

…Says Approved 4-New Seaports would Create Massive Employment

By DAPO OLAWUNI

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said that his administration has in the last two years lifted 10.5million Nigerians out of poverty, even as he revealed that plans are underway to further pull 100million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

These according to him includes farmers, small-scale traders, artisans and market women.

The President in his national broadcast to commemorate the June 12th 2021 Democracy Day said the government now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households that were identified across 708 local government areas, 8,723 wards and 86,610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT.

He said his administration has embarked on a National Social Investment Programme, a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6m beneficiaries are taking part.
In addition, he said a National poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy plan is equally underway. He assured that the specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.

Speaking, he said “Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals. This provides a monthly stipend of N10,000 per household”

“Our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund; The Second Niger Bridge, The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway”

“​I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion”

“The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began. The Lagos-Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations”

In the maritime sector, President Buhari said that four new seaports have been approved to be constructed under Public-Private-Partnership arrangements.
He assured that the four sea ports; Lekki Deep Sea Port, Bonny Deep Sea Port, Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows.

Speaking, he said “We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port, a first in 11 years. Similarly, on October 30 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports.

“As we invest in these new assets, we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected. In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project – which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned. This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector”

The President said that in the last two years, Nigeria has witnessed and overcame a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations especially relating to insecurity.

He however assured that every incident, “however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice”

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