President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will speed up efforts to ensure rapid economic growth in the country.
Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) in Abuja, Buhari said the administration’s policy of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is a deliberate effort that will be pursued with determination.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, after the council’s meeting which was also attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said the country requires a poverty reduction strategy that will usher in “rapid, sustained, sustainable and inclusive economic growth”.
“I was shocked, hearing from you that of the vast agricultural land resources available to the nation, only two percent of it is under irrigation,” Buhari said.
“We will make the best use of the land. Thank you for shaking us up. We are now awake; we will not doze off again. We didn’t just bump into this; we believe it is something we can deliver on.”
During his presentation, Doyin Salami, PEAC chairman, welcomed the country’s exit from recession, but cautioned that the strength of the economic growth must be driven in a way that it will overtake population growth.
“Poverty is not only the lack of cash; it is defined by lack of access to shelter, health, education and jobs which must all be addressed,” he said.
“We are consolidating on the achievements of the past and avoiding past mistakes; it is the first time that everyone is coming on board – federal government, states, the private sector, development partners and the civil society. Poverty reduction must not be left to the federal government alone; it is everybody’s responsibility.”