Governor Yahaya Bello has announced the domestication of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Kogi state.
Bello made this known in Lokoja on Tuesday at the flag-off ceremony for the distribution of grants to vulnerable groups in Kogi state by the federal government.
He emphasised that the necessary legal framework and legislative authority for the creation of this ministry had already been meticulously addressed.
“We will also transmit a bill for the creation of the Kogi State Social Investment Agency to the House of Assembly along with the budget for 2024,” he said.
While commending President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s visionary approach and genuine commitment to combating poverty in Nigeria, Gov Bello asserted that the grant would effectively contribute to the administration’s goal of pulling millions of Nigerians out of the poverty bracket.
He highlighted the various initiatives undertaken by his administration to reduce and eliminate poverty in Kogi State. These include free education in primary and secondary schools, quarterly distribution of food palliatives, and free healthcare program for pregnant women and children.
Additionally, the government has undertaken the responsibility of covering examination fees for public school students, releasing funds such as the N497 million disbursed for the 2024 WAEC fees in October.
The Governor attributed these policies to the administration’s Zero-Out-School-Children initiative, which has yielded substantial results. He expressed confidence that the Governor-elect, Usman Ododo, would build upon these achievements and strengthen ties with the federal and local governments for the overall welfare of the people.
The N20,000 cash grant to each beneficiary is a way of ameliorating poverty and cushioning the effect of fuel subsidy removal among the vulnerable groups in Nigeria.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, while flagging off the distribution of grants to the beneficiaries, explained that the grant for vulnerable groups is not a loan and will not be repaid.
“The President is committed to seeing that he pulls Nigerians out of poverty. He has placed a demand on himself and his team that a minimum of 50 million Nigerians be out of poverty. To achieve this, the President set up a team to identify the poorest of our people and came up with a series of programmes that will improve the economy of the common man.
“Today in Kogi State, we are officially flagging off the Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Kogi State. It is a Kickstarter, and it should be used the right way. This is intended to boost your business, and it is expected that it will help in whatever you are doing,” she stated.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Head of Service and Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Hannah Odiyo, and Mukadam Asiwaju Idris applauded the poverty eradication initiatives of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration for looking inward and having the people of Kogi State in mind.
They expressed confidence that Kogi State will continually benefit from all the poverty reduction programmes of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government.