By Lawrence Olaoye
The federal government has dismissed a recent report rating Nigeria as a country with extremely poor people in the world.
Reacting to the latest Bookings Institute p’s rating of Nigeria as the headquarters of poverty in the world, Minister of Trade and Investments, Okechukwu Enalamah, who briefed newsmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, said such should not border Nigerians as the report may have been compiled when the nation was in economic recess.
The report had stated that India used to hold the first poverty predominance position with a population of 1.324 billion people as against Nigeria’s 200 million.
According to the institute, Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared to India’s 73 million and that extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall.
But Enalamah said government’s ongoing investments in infrastructure would create jobs and wealth for the poor to get out of poverty.
He said “we need to understand when we get these reports that there are reports that are lagging in indicators which means, people are reporting on history. There are reports that are leading indicators which means that they are forward looking and of course, there reports that capture generally what you do which is current. They are actually dealing with what is current. So, when you get reports from Brooking institutes or all sorts of people, you need to look at the context.
“Somebody may have written a report when we were in recession.
Remember that if you are in a recession, what it means is that even though, your population is growing, people don’t stop procreating, your growth fat, which means that in theory depending on how they run those numbers, you will be going the other way.”
He added that the Council approved the sum of N3.172 for payment to consultants for the development of zones for effective implementation of Projects Made in Nigeria Exports (MINE).
The zones pm according to him, include those in Lagos State Lekki Free Trade Zone Area, one in Katsina in Funtau Cotton Cluster Zone Area and aother one in Abia in Enyimba City. Others zones to be developed are in Calabar and Kano, he stressed.
Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to the President also told newsmen that the Council had approved the sum of N133 million for Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for the acquisition of a Computer Based Test (CBT) to take control of its examinations.
Minister of state for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shahuri, told newsmen that road projects running into several billions of Naira were approved by the Council.