President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to facilitate the exit of 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years has since begun recording positive outcomes under his administration, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said.
According to the group, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are already streaming initiatives targeted at creating direct and indirect jobs.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said those initiatives are in addition to the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP)
It said: “The first set of building blocks were laid in the early days of President Buhari’s first term in office with the Social Investments Programmes which were targeted at empowering less privileged Nigerians, the unemployed and those living in extreme poverty.
“Need we mention that the N-SIP is the largest welfare scheme in sub-Saharan Africa, and is now a global reference point?
“So it is not a surprise that an independent survey showed that the various initiatives have impacted positively on over 40 million Nigerians.
The group also noted that the latest figures on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed that a lot has been happening of late on the economic front.
” Nigerians have seen how the third-quarter GDP which grew to 2.28% was driven by the non-oil sector especially Agriculture, Manufacturing and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“It is gratifying that the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) also expanded with desired impacts on capacity utilisation and jobs creation. The Manufacturing PMI in the month of November stood at 59.3 index points, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the thirty-second consecutive month while the Non-Manufacturing PMI rose by 1.9 points to 60.1 index points in November from 58.2 index points in October 2019.
“And only recently, the Central Bank took steps to boost credit to the private sector through the Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR) with a resultant increase in absolute gross credit, amounting to N1.1trillion recorded between end-May and end-October 2019. Consequently, the manufacturing sector received N459.69 billion, the highest in two decades. This was followed by consumer loans of N356.65 billion, General Commerce (N142.98 billion), Information and Communications (N82.07 billion), Construction (N74.52 billion), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (N73.20 billion), Mining and Quarrying (N3.64 billion) and Transportation and Storage (N3.09 billion), amongst others.
This is aside from the sustained interventions by the Bank in selected employment and growth-enhancing sectors, as well as fiscal policy measures to support growth.
“The Commodity Development Initiatives, otherwise known as the Anchor Borrowers Programme, designed to finance the agricultural value chain of ten ((10) commodities namely; Cassava, Cocoa, Cotton, Rice, Tomato, Poultry, Livestock and Dairy, Fish, Oil Palm and Maize, has received N171.66 billion in funding
“And in case many Nigerians missed it, President Buhari recreated the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental affairs which has now been charged with several responsibilities including monitoring, verification and authorizing all payments on constituency projects as well as evaluating the implementation of federal executive council policies, programmes and projects by other ministries, departments and agencies and report back to the president in council.
“This will go a long way in ensuring that job-creation initiatives of MDAs are well monitored from conception to implementation,” it said.
BMO is convinced that the President has the political will to ensure that the pledge is fulfilled.