Nigeria has highest number of poor people globally – El-Rufai

Kaduna state Governor Nasir El Rufai on Tuesday launched the State Social Protection Policy, lamenting that, Nigeria has the highest number of poor people among the countries of the world.

He however said that, his government will establish a Social Protection Agency to ensure that all social protection programmes are delivered in an integrated, inclusive and sustainable manner that optimizes resource utilization and achieves high impact.

El Rufai said, that social register must be used in programmes designed to assist the poor people, while Nigeria must drop the idea of giving slots of assistance programmes to the rich and powerful.

According to El Rufai, “Nigeria is going through trying times. We have the largest number of poor people than any country in the world. Yet, whenever a programme is designed to help the poor and vulnerable, we resort to a slot mentality in which important people are allocated slots instead of targeting those poor and vulnerable that deserve it. This is unfortunate. We must move away from slot mentality and use our social register to offer targeted support to those that truly need it.

“I appeal to all my colleagues, the political elites to please drop this slot mentality and use the social register, so that, programmes targeting the vulnerable actually go to the poor and vulnerable. When we think of the poor and vulnerable, we must all remember that, the welfare of each one of us is bound up in the welfare of all of us.”

Speaking on the Social Protection Agency, El Rufai said, “the agency will utilize an Integrated Social Protection Management Information System, which will serve as a data repository to ensure that the poorest of the poor are prioritized in programme planning and benefits.

“This will also ensure the effective monitoring and evaluation of programme impacts on targeted poor and vulnerable residents of the State,’’ he added.

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