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US, Nigeria To Combat Extreme Poverty

By Gilbert Alasa.
The United States Agency for International Development and the Federal Government of Nigeria, have signed a $2.3b aid agreement to fight the challenge of extreme poverty in the country.
Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said, the agreement would help the government to combat extreme poverty among Nigerians over the next five years.
According to the statement, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government, while the USAID Head of Mission in Nigeria, Mr. Michael Harvey, signed on behalf of the US Government during a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last week.
Prof. Osibanjo said the fight against extreme poverty was a key element of his government, noting that, the situation is unacceptable.
“The issue of extreme poverty of a vast majority of Nigerians is a very important issue for us. It is at the heart of our economic policy. You can’t have that vast number of poor people and don’t plan around that and for us, this is crucial and absolutely important,” Osinbajo was reported to have said.
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He promised that, the Buhari-led administration would continue to lead a transparent and an open government, and emphasised a bottom-up approach to economic planning.
The $2.3bn assistance will cover activities from 2015 through 2020, with the objective of helping Nigeria reduce extreme poverty in a more stable and democratic society.
It is expected to stimulate inclusive economic growth, promote healthier, more educated population and help strengthen good governance.
The USAID director said the agreement would provide a solid foundation for the two countries to partner to reduce inequalities amongst people across the country.

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