- Buhari urges elites to help in reducing the poverty level.
- Commends Osinbajo on TraderMoni initiative.
President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the elite to do something very urgent to ameliorate the high level of poverty pervading in the country at the moment, saying too many people were running around unable to find something to eat.
Speaking on Monday night when he played host to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Ministers, Service Chiefs, Heads of Security Agencies and Chief Executives of Federal Government Agencies and Institutions to a breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari said that the situation makes him uncomfortable.
While expressing his displeasure on the nation’s poverty rate, the president frowned at the inability of the Nigerian elites to address the welfare and educational needs of the less-privileged in the society.
Buhari who noted that the Federal Government had already introduced people friendly programs like the School Feeding and `Trader Money’ to alleviate the hardship being experienced by the less-privileged individuals across the country commended the Vice-President for successfully managing the school feeding and `trader money’ programs.
“When I drive around the country what upset me very much is the status of our poor people in this country – you see young people, the so-called Almajiris with tore dresses, with a plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat.
“The question of education (to them) is a luxury. I think Nigerian elite are all failing because I think we should have a program that will at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are.”
The president also pointed that because of the initiative, the enrolment into schools improved because a lot of children can get at least one good meal a day.
“But, culturally some of us are quite merciless, we don’t care about what happens to others we just keep on moving forward.
“This `market money’ I warned the Vice-President I don’t like him to be mobbed, especially the way I see hefty women coming and confronting him, he should be very careful. These are very good initiates. Initially, I was quite reluctant but I must admit that they are very good programs and they endear this government to a lot of poor people because of these N5,000 or N10,000 being given to them as loans.
“They are fantastic programs and I have to admit quite honestly that the Vice-President was ahead of me by insisting on them.
“But he knows me if he insists I will say `okay go and do what you like.’ He did it and I’m very pleased as he is being very successful,’’ he said.