Philip Atume

A development economist, Mr. Magnus Kpakol said National Poverty Eradication Programme era was the first time in the history of Nigeria that government took to a decisive step to end poverty.

 Speaking as a guest on “Today on STV” the former Chief Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo said the National Assembly is building a political will to achieve the aim of ending poverty.

He also said if any government wants to achieve anything, policies as a matter of fact have to be targeted at squarely.

 He stated that in setting up the National Poverty Eradication Program, government has decided to end poverty, but Nigerians have to be decisive, purposeful and have political will.

He revealed that creation of jobs is the number one antidote to poverty, giving an example of China lifting over 700million people out of poverty in 1980 by giving them skills, training and education so that they could create jobs.

 He said the same way there are bail out programmes for State and businesses, the same way there should be bailout programme for people that may suffer in dignity.

He stressed that poverty is a reflection of economic violence because Nigeria is not doing certain things it should do and money is not spent in health care and education which results to violence.

He said in Africa, Nigeria represents those with the severest kind of poverty with 24 of the top 30 countries with the highest poverty rate.

He also said the federal government cannot do it alone and there should be more collaboration amongst the tiers of government.

He stated further that some states are doing well but there is no good enough focus and Nigeria should be more decisive.

He said there should be a stronger degree of collaboration between the government and the private sector and they should be more purposeful.

He revealed that anywhere in the world where there is crisis, there is poverty because there won’t be prosperity, there won’t be investors coming, there won’t be progress and the locals won’t have peace of mind.

He said to eradicate poverty, the society has to be industrialized, skills and value has to be provided because commodities should not just be sold but has to be processed.

He also said if the new Poverty Eradication Programme is aimed at eradicating poverty in the society at every level, it is a good thing.

In conclusion he said Nigeria cannot be successful where the population growth rate is equal to the economic growth, rate stressing that Nigeria should be purposeful and diversify the economy.