The Director-General, Progressive Governors’ Forum, PGF, Dr. Salihu Lukman, says lifting more Nigerians out of poverty is critical to ending banditry, kidnapping and abduction of school children in Nigeria.
Mr Lukman said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said it would be deceptive to imagine that development could be achieved if the root cause of current security challenge in the country was not addressed.
He stressed that with the current high rate of kidnappings, there has to be a special framework to guarantee security of Nigerian farmers.
The PGF DG said that the focus of governments at all levels should be to lift more Nigerians out of poverty by ensuring successful implementation of government initiatives.
“Our loyalty to our leaders must, as necessity, include getting our leaders to succeed in lifting Nigerians out of poverty.
“That is perhaps the only insurance cover that can support us to begin to move towards peaceful coexistence in the country,’’ Mr Lukman said.
He added that military action alone was not sufficient in addressing challenges of banditry and kidnappings in the country.
He said the good thing, however, was that the APC and its leadership were not in denial of the reality on ground.
Mr Lukman said that since May 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari had declared Federal Government`s commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
He noted that since 2015, the government has been implementing National Social Investment Programme, NSIP, which was far more than what past governments had done.
He said there was; however, need to ensure that credible method of targeting the poor and vulnerable for the reduction of poverty, effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms were employed under the NSIP initiatives.
He said that different welfare investments were being implemented in the country under the NSIP to reduce poverty and close up the wide income inequality gap between the rich and the poor.
Mr Lukman, however, said that in spite of the security challenges, infrastructure development had been a major priority of the Buhari administration more than any government in the country`s recent history.
“Railways have returned as a mode of transportation in the country; Abuja Metro Rail, Abuja – Kaduna Rail and Itakpe – Ajaokuta – Warri Rail started by previous administrations have been completed.
“The Lagos – Ibadan Rail started by the current APC administration in 2017 has also been completed,’’ Mr Lukman said.
He said in addition to the return of railways, there were so many ongoing road projects across country.