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The Poverty Index: Blame the Tories who build bridges but ignore suffering – Finance Minister

The Minister of State for Finance, Clement Agba, has criticized state governors for Nigeria’s negative poverty index.

In his criticism of some conservatives, he said that many of them are busy competing with each other to build bridges and other infrastructure in city centers, leaving the rural population to their fate.

He said most of the infrastructures they build in state capitals have no direct impact on alleviating the suffering of the majority of the masses in both rural and urban communities.

His reactions came, on Wednesday, while he was briefing reporters of the State Council on some of the deliberations that took place inside the council’s chambers, after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council headed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

After noting that there had been a slight improvement in the GDP indicators for the third quarter of 2022, he was asked why the majority of Nigerians continue to suffer severe pain and suffering as a result of the inflationary trend and if there are measures to check this. .

He replied, “The question was, what do the Finance Minister and I do about hardship in Nigeria, right? So the suggestion is that both of us create hardship for us to solve.”

“Conservatives basically work only in their state capitals. And the democracy we preach is to provide the greatest good to the largest number of people. From our demographics, it appears that the largest number of our people live in rural areas, but conservatives do not work in rural areas.

Right now, 70% of our people live in rural areas, and they produce 90% of what we eat. Unfortunately, 60% of what they produce is wasted due to post-harvest loss and does not reach the market.
When we talk about food prices, as I mentioned now as driving inflation, food prices at the farm gates are low. But now when you take them to urban areas, you discover that the prices are high because of supply chain disruptions, and the lack of infrastructure to get them there.

I think we on the federal side are doing the best we can. But we need to push that instead of governors continuing to compete for loans to build airports that aren’t necessarily in places where other airports are very close to them, or governors now competing to build flyovers everywhere we’re hailing, + they should focus on building roads Rural areas so that the farmer can at least get his produce to market.

“And you find that if they do that and with the new policy in the National Development Plan that talks about power grabs in rural areas, especially off-grid power that can be put in easily, you start to pull industries into those areas for added value.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) report shows in terms of employment, MSMEs employ 70% of our employees. So you can imagine how much more progress we’ll make when you find that there are roads, and there is strength in these rural areas.

“In terms of farming, you find out that the federal government doesn’t have land that they can farm, the government has pushed for the Anchor Borrowers program and that’s going very well but the state lands are controlled by the states. They are the ones providing the land for farming. They’re not investing in it.

They would rather build skyscrapers in a city where people see and clap but skyscrapers don’t put food on the table.

“As I always say, if you look at Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He says you have to take care of the basic needs of individuals first before you start talking about self-actualization. So we need to take care of the issues of food, nutrition, housing, and clothing for our people. Before we start thinking about How to go to the moon and start building bridges and airports in the state capital, this is the missing link that we need to push so that we can stimulate growth.

“But keep saying the federal government or my sister and Zainab what are we doing? We’re doing our parts. And I’m sure Wike told you guys about the money being released over $500 billion to the oil-producing states and I’ve seen some disclaimers from the states saying, ‘It’s “Tiny little money they get every month. Some give some half-truths about what they received. We need to hold them accountable. So we can all grow our economy.”

The Poverty Index: Blame the Tories who build bridges but ignore suffering – Finance Minister

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