By Usman Shuaibu
President Muhammadu Buhari should be praised for his unwavering determination and successes in cycling the poor out of poverty.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) gave this commendation in reaction to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s remarks that Nigeria has the highest number of poor people in the world.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO says the British Prime Minister also said a lot of Nigerians are doing well in a resurgent economy.
According to the group, “Nigeria’s whimpering major opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), and other closet opposition figures should not find this occasion to throw their usual tantrums.”
Rather, the group re-iterates that Prime Minister May “had merely reminded Nigerians and the world of the irresponsibility of a party that wantonly frittered away more than $800billion Federal revenue during a 16-year reign of unrestrained official brigandage, grand corruption and other wholesale malfeasance.
“In truth, Prime Minister May is not saying anything new, Nigeria’s poor have been growing exponentially since 1980 but reached a discomfiting percentage between 2010 and 2015 when the number of the nation’s poor increased by five percent from 38.7 percent to 42.2 percent under the PDP. The PDP in government since 1999 through to 2015, rather than fundamentally addressing the challenges of poverty, was only interested in feeding fat on the miseries of the country’s poor. It is, however, comforting that current figures are showing a shrinking percentage of the poor to a difference of two percent between 2015 and 2018.”
The group believes that this is a consequence of “the obviously commendable efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to redeem the economic and social status of country’s poor. For the first time in the history of Nigeria, we are witnessing the implementation of well thought out programmes and policies of social interventions with objectives of cycling the poor out of poverty.
These include programmes like the Conditional Cash Transfer, the N-Power, the Free Meals for Primary School pupils, the Government Economic Empowerment Programme and so many others. The Federal Government has consistently budgeted the princely sum of N500bn to the realisation of these pro-poor programmes. “