The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, Mrs. Precious Gbeneol, has appealed to the Nigerian government as well as the private sector to come up with more innovative ways for job creation, employment generation and poverty reduction.
Speaking yesterday, on the occasion of World Poverty Day, Gbeneol said that putting more people to work remained the most sustainable way to eradicate poverty.
That said, Gbeneol acknowledged the efforts of the Federal Government at job creation through different initiatives like “the Conditional Cash transfer (CCT), YouWin and other efforts aimed at boosting the productive capacity in the Nigerian economy.”
Represented by the Head of Information and Communications, Dr Christopher Otabor, Gbeneol also said that agriculture remained the key sector that can help Nigeria break the yoke of poverty.
“Though a lot has been achieved in this sector in the past two years, I will appeal to our youths to embrace agriculture as a means of viable employment by taking advantage of the various policies of government.
“Nigeria has made real progress in the efforts to eradicate extreme poverty since the country, alongside other developed countries adopted the MDGs in 2000”.
She noted that Nigeria has partly achieved the goal one which deals with eradication of extreme poverty and hunger ahead of target date of 2015 by reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger by 50 per cent.
Gbeneol also said her office has consistently supported the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in three principal areas which included training of youth and women in agricultural practices, funding of extension services, and construction of rural feeder roads.
She noted that with the support, Federal Ministry of Agriculture has in the past three years been able to train 5,000 youths in ten different value chains and provide start-up packages for 6,000 youths including access to credit and other inputs through the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES); training of 2,500 women in poultry, bull fattening, sheep and goat production, bee keeping, crop value chains and extension among others.
Nigeria was this year honoured for the achievement at the week-long 38th session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) highest governing body in Rome.
The award was designed to review the state of hunger and food security in the world alongside 37 other developing countries, institutions and individuals for outstanding action against hunger.
FAO had during the award, indicated that Nigeria got the award because it has been able to reduce the number of her citizens suffering from hunger from 19.31 million in 1990 and 1992 to 13.38 million in 2010 and 2012.
The world body also noted that there has been a decline in the prevalence of under-nourishment in the country from 19.3 per cent in 1990/1991 to 8.5 per cent by 2010/2012. This is below the MDG target of 9.7 per cent that was set for 2015.