By:Rakiya Garba Karaye, Maiduguri
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja said ongoing efforts to reduce poverty in the country continue to grow, with 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households, comprising more than 8 million individuals currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer program, while N300 billion has been disbursed to farmers.
Speaking virtually at the opening ceremony of the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, the President said the National Social Register of poor and vulnerable Nigerians had 32.6 million persons from 7 million poor and vulnerable households identified, imploring bankers to play a stronger role in improving livelihoods.
He said From the number, 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households, comprising more than 8 million individuals are currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer program, which pays a bi-monthly stipend of N10, 000 per household,’’ he said.
President Buhari said the National Social Investment Programme was biggest in Sub-Sahara Africa and one of the largest in the world.
According to him, “Some of the various initiatives embarked upon to boost agric trade in Nigeria include the Anchor Borrowers Programme through which the Central Bank of Nigeria had made more than 300 billion Naira available to over 3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities including Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soybeans, Groundnut, Fish, cultivating over 3.8 million hectares of farmland.
He also commended the financial services industry for its interventions and contributions towards the promotion of financial inclusion and literacy in our country. And more importantly, the roles played by the banks in fostering economic growth of the country.
The President said a report from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew 5.01 per cent in the second quarter of 2021; the strongest rise since the fourth quarter of 2014.