Sani Urges Prayers Amidst Promise to Lift Millions from Poverty

Senator Shehu Sani has called for prayers in response to Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, pledging to elevate 133 million Nigerians out of poverty during the Tinubu administration.

Sani, in a statement, pointed out that the commitment to uplift millions of Nigerians from poverty is not a new narrative, highlighting that similar assurances were given during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Senator Shehu Sani:

“The Lady Minister, Betta, who wants to lift 133 million Nigerians out of poverty, needs prayers. “We have been through this ‘lifting’ promises under Buhari.”

The stark reality is that Nigeria’s poverty rate stood at around 76 million when President Buhari assumed office. However, this number surged to over 130 million by the time former President Buhari concluded his term.

Sani’s skepticism is rooted in previous instances where such promises were made without fruition, thereby casting doubt on the credibility of the Minister and the government.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) emphasized the dire situation in its “Nigeria Multidimensional Poverty Index” report published in November 2022, revealing that over 133 million Nigerians grapple with poverty. The NBS disclosed that poverty levels vary extensively among states, with multidimensional poverty ranging from 27 percent in Ondo to a staggering 91 percent in Sokoto.

The NBS underscored that this figure represents a substantial 63 percent of Nigeria’s population. The report also highlighted that a significant portion of the impoverished population relies on unconventional energy sources like dung, wood, or charcoal for cooking instead of cleaner alternatives.

Moreover, high levels of deprivation were observed in aspects such as sanitation, access to healthcare, food security, and housing. Notably, the report indicated that multidimensional poverty is more pervasive in rural areas, with 72 percent of people in these regions facing poverty, compared to 42 percent in urban areas.

This report, the first poverty index survey published by the NBS since 2010, exposed the gravity of the issue. It unveiled that 65 percent of the impoverished population (86 million people) reside in the North, while the remaining 35 percent (almost 47 million) live in the South.

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