BY KINGSLEY UNAH, Abuja
The Federal Government has unveiled plans to establish and implement the Presidential Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund Initiative.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Beta Edu disclosed this during a roundtable discussion with the Country Director of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Jeremie Zoungrana, alongside the Deputy Director, Health, Population and Nutrition, Carolin Jehu-Apiah in Abuja.
To kick-start the initiative, Edu rolled out the technical analysis that would pave the way for strategic progammes and projects that could be implemented towards achieving the President’s Renewed Hope mantra.
The minister thereafter unveiled a sustainable financial plan that would lead to the attainment of the trust fund initiative.
Through the resource mobilisation, the ministry is expected to harness other projects while addressing the humanitarian and poverty crisis in the country.
She lamented the devastating effect of both made-made and natural disasters on humanity, incessant security challenges and pockets of social unrest emanating from different areas of our country.
Edu reinstated her commitment in fighting the ugly enemies confronting Nigeria and humanity with selfless determination through the initiative.
She quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as saying that over 133 million Nigerians are poor, 70 million are extremely poor and are living below 1.90 dollar per day.
The minister referred to the statistics as multi-dimensional Poverty, adding that President Bola Tinubu is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), which is designed to raise people out of poverty by 2030.
She noted that the trust fund would be funded by contributions from donor agencies and development partners, organised private sector and budget allocation.
The minister maintained that the ministry would be willing to work with the Ministry of Finance and the organised private sector, who are interested in supporting the initiative for tax rebates or tax incentives.
Edu said that the ministry would utilise the taxes to support humanitarian response as well as poverty alleviation.
To that effect, embassies, middle east foundations, UNGA countries and other interested countries have all been earmarked to support the initiative.
Edu said that a stakeholder’s committee, comprising the government and private sector would be integrated during the implementation of the programme.
On his part, Mr. Jeremie Zoungrana applauded the minister’s laudable initiative and pro-activeness, just as he reiterated his commitment to the success and actualisation of the initiative, particularly in the area of health-related programmes and poverty reduction.
BY KINGSLEY UNAH, Abuja