By Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair
Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu has taken the renewed Hope Intervention to the poor and vulnerable in the Kabawa community, Kogi state.
Speaking during advocacy visits to some communities, she encouraged everyone to key into the over 21 humanitarian & poverty alleviation programs of the present administration.
The Minister maintained that the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu was all about giving Nigerians, especially the vulnerable, the poor, those in rural areas, and hard to reach areas a new lease of life.
While introducing the program managers and contact through which women and young people in the poor communities could be helped, Dr. Edu assured the people that the federal government would bring to them skill acquisition programmes with the view to further lifting them out of poverty.
According to her, “We have flagged off officially the renewed home grants for very poor and vulnerable in society, and we did it in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital. I came to see the beneficiaries where they live and truly appreciate the enormity of the challenge.
“We are now in the suburbs to see the actual vulnerable people and the conditions they live in and what we can do to support them beside the grant we gave them today. We’ve seen several petty traders, some selling and sewing from their houses and backyards, and we have supported some of their businesses now. And we will do more to build their skills and expand their businesses.
“Beyond this, we’ll be coming back to give a rural skill acquisition programme which will directly have impacts on them. We will teach them skills and help them to be able to fend for themselves.
“We are hopeful that the support that we’ve given to them today will enable them to grow their petty businesses into bigger businesses and support their families, especially their children, to go to school”
The Minister stressed that several other social intervention programmes of the government were designed to end poverty and would be made available to them.
“We have already launched a GEEP, which is the market moni. All market women are to be registered right there in the markets, and the interest-free N50,000 disbursed to them. We are already carrying out conditional cash transfers, and several households have benefited from it.
“In Nigeria we are launching the End Hunger programme and it will be for communities like this that will help build from the farmer to the person who is going to the river to fish to the finished product of providing meals daily for Nigerians across the country”, she said.
Dr Edu reiterated President Tinubu’s determination to lift at least 50 million people out of poverty within the next 42 months, saying that it was an everyday intervention, adding that she and her team would continue to move from community to community in pursuit of the goal.
“We will continue to change the narrative and will continue to impact the lives of Nigerians.
For the grant, we have given in the first instance 10,000 beneficiaries, and then the second batch of it will come up soon with another 10,000 benefiting.
The Minister pointed out that her ministry will employ different means, including the use of grassroots youth and women organisations to ensure that intervention programmes of the government get directly to the poor at the grassroots.
“We do not want to do programmes that are not felt by the grassroots. The only essence of governance is to bring relief to people, to bring relief to the poor, and to be vulnerable and protect them.
“That’s the reason for social protection. And we are a government that’s interested in the people. President Bola Tinubu is 100% committed to this course, “she said.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke in their local dialects,including Rabi Omale, Habiba Suleiman, and Rukayat Momoh, thanked President Tinubu for fulfilling his campaign promise to the vulnerables in the rural communities.
They said seeing the Minister performing the functions as an agent of renewed hope without delegating the responsibility to her staff and officers in the Ministry had singled her out as a Renewed Hope Agenda Crusader
“We are very grateful for the opportunity provided by the Federal Government under President Tinubu, and we will not take for granted,” the beneficiaries explained.