FG Gets $2.3bn From USAID To Tackle Poverty

USAID

The federal government has signed a $2.3 billion assistance agreement with the United States Agency for International Development as part of means of reducing extreme poverty in Nigeria.

The agreement would cover activities of the government for the next five year running from 2015 through 2020.

The development was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed on Sunday.

According to him, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo last week in a meeting held at the presidential villa, Abuja signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government just as the USAID Head of Mission in Nigeria, Mr. Michael Harvey, signed on behalf of the US government.

“The issue of the extreme poverty of a vast majority of Nigerians is a very important issue for us, it is at the heart of our economic policy, at the centre of our agenda. 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,” he quoted Osinbajo to have said.

Also speaking the USAID Director said the agreement would provide a solid foundation for the two countries to partner to reduce inequalities across the country.

Tags from the story
africa, nigeria, poverty, USAID

1 Comment

  • Nigerians should accept the assistance of USAID with open arms. It is time that we got off our high horses and realize that we are not as rich as we think and copy the ideas that the other people around the world have used to get a better living condition for their people. Yes, we may have many millionaires in Nigeria but how many of them are actually helping to reduce poverty in the country? Just a handful. Do you know that today, there are 105 million Nigerians who are living in extreme poverty, on less than 200 naira a day? Think of those market women, their children and the sick when we criticize outsiders trying to help us fight poverty. Maybe if we were bold enough to criticize those among us who have pocketed our national money for themselves, we would not have so many poor people Nigeria.

    USAID is a well respected organization and I would expect Nigerians to appreciate the help from a friend without being overly pessimistic. I am very glad that our Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the USAID Head of Mission, Mr. Michael Harvey, negotiated and agreed on this program. There are always pros and cons in giving and accepting assistance but there is an overwhelming evidence around the world that confirms that what USAID is offering Nigeria now is mostly to our benefit. My own suggestion is that this money should be totally put into the hands of Nigeria’s 40 million impoverished micro Entrepreneurs & small Farmers who are already hard working throughout our towns and villages with tiny capitals and making small profits with which they feed the other 65 million zero-income Nigerians (their children, elderly adults and the sick). Distributing this money, even as a revolving micro-loan, and putting them into the hands of these experienced but poor breadwinners, at an average amount of about $200 per breadwinner, would mean a rapid growth (within months) in each of their tiny ventures, boosting their personal/family incomes and stimulating their grassroots village, city, state and national economies.

    As usual in Nigeria, the question would be “how do you trust that the government officials would distribute this money fairly”? We all Nigerians have to examine our consciences and stand up for what is good and reject stealing of public funds. I am sure that USAID has experience in appropriate conditional cash transfer methodologies but Nigeria could also engage the services of Social Entrepreneur charitable organizations like ICAfrica of Canada. I believe that using the approach I have suggested would, within 3 years reduce the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty by at least 50% to less than 60 million people. If the program is expanded, it would help speed up the end-date of extreme poverty in Nigeria and make Nigeria an emerging economy in it’s true sense.

    Eugene Nzeribe,
    Development Consultant

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