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Osinbajo: Lifting 20 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty In 2 Years Within Reach

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STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

ESP CASH TRANSFER SCHEME:
LIFTING 20 MILLION NIGERIANS OUT OF POVERTY IN NEXT 2 YEARS NOW WITHIN REACH, SAYS OSINBAJO

*VP adds: Nigeria deserves social security scheme not just for poverty alleviation, but wealth creation also

*Nigeria first country in Africa to develop & test wholly technology-based approach to social protection

Following the successful activation of the Economic Sustainability Plan’s (ESP) Cash Transfer scheme aimed at delivering financial support to at least 1 million urban-based households using technology, the Buhari administration’s vision of reducing extreme poverty by lifting at least 20 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next two years is now within reach, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this Tuesday in Abuja while flagging-off, virtually, the cash transfer scheme to be facilitated through a wholly technology-based approach called the Rapid Response Register (RRR).

RRR is the means by which urban poor and vulnerable population can be speedily identified using geographic satellite technology and other related means for the purposes of delivering cash to households affected by the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

According to the Vice President “the groundbreaking success of the RRR, now emboldens us to achieve our aspiration of a social security programme for a minimum of twenty million Nigerians in the next two years. This will be the largest of its kind on the continent. This (aspiration) is, at least from the perspective of this tested approach, now well within our reach.”

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“The only constraint, of course, is the funding which we must look for because, this country deserves a social security scheme that will not merely alleviate poverty but also create wealth for the millions of those who are waiting for this opportunity.

“Our government launched the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) in 2017 to provide the framework for institutionalizing the work we started since 2016 on reducing extreme poverty in Nigeria, based on our administration’s vision to create a comprehensive social security programme for the poor and vulnerable and thereafter the pledge to lift 100 million Nigerian’s out of poverty in ten years.”

The Vice President maintained that the launch of the (RRR) social protection method of targeting, which is the first strategy to be developed and tested in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, would enable Nigeria tackle poverty in a more systematic manner, leveraging technology to expand the scope of the interventions.

His words: “As of 31st December 2020, we have identified and registered about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Register; equivalent to about 5.7 million households. Through this project, we are currently injecting about N10 Billion directly into the hands of about 2 million poor and vulnerable people every month.

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“This is about the largest evidence-based effort by any administration on poverty reduction and its impact on the lives of the poor is huge; by way of improving the livelihoods of the beneficiaries through enhanced household purchasing power; smoothening consumption; increasing savings and acquisition of household assets; and improving the local economy. There are many more ramifications.”

Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq said the initiative would provide a gateway to other important government programmes, adding that Nigeria now has a database for impact tracking and the expansion of social interventions and related programmes, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of extending financial support to more Nigerians.

She said “By design, this register links to other databases such as banking information of respondents and national identity numbers. It is also a process that is advanced in unifying national databank towards the delivery of social development in Nigeria. There is no doubt that in future, as has been demonstrated in the previous presentation, we would be reverting to the process used here and the register itself, to aid emergency assistance”.

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On his part, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Subham Chaudhuri commended the Federal Government for the initiative, noting it as a critical component in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While pledging the support of the World Bank for the project, Mr Chaudhuri emphasized the need for stakeholders to remain transparent in the selection and disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries.

About 3,115 households received alerts of payments instantly at the flag-off of the project by the Vice President. A total of 1 million households would be impacted directly under the scheme in the next 6 months.

The Cash Transfer scheme which is part of the ESP is designed to build a shock responsive framework for capturing and registering the urban poor and vulnerable populations across Nigeria. The RRR focuses mainly on the urban poor wards selected using scientifically validated methods of satellite remote sensing technology, machine learning algorithm and big data analysis.

Also present at the event include the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige; the representative of the European Union (EU) mission in Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlsen, among others.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President

19th January 2021

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Bandits: We Receive Weapons From SSS Agents, Also We Share Income

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Bandits: We Receive Weapons From SSS Agents, Also We Share Income
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The bandits also said some police officers have been a part of the conspiracy that has fueled insecurity across Nigeria.

Armed bandits terrorising different parts of Nigeria have disclosed that they have been receiving arms and ammunition from operatives of the State Security Service and often split ransom payments received at gunpoint.

The criminals told Deutsche Welle in a recent report that they “borrow weapons” from the state agents and then go to work to share ill-gotten gains together.

The bandits also said some police officers have been a part of the conspiracy that has fueled insecurity across Nigeria which President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of being too lazy to address.

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A spokesman for the SSS did not return a request seeking comments from Peoples Gazette about whether or not the secret police was aware of a possible alliance between its officers and armed bandits wreaking havoc across the country.

The report surfaced amidst widespread claims that Nigerian security forces are fueling insecurity for financial benefits. In 2018, Theophilus Danjuma, a former chief of army staff, said the Nigerian military and other state agents were actively supplying weapons to violent criminals waging a war against minority rural settlers in Nigeria’s north-central.

The Buhari administration denied the allegation, but several indications have emerged repeatedly since then that appeared to show that the government was not as concerned about the raging crisis.

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Last week, Mr Buhari warned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, where armed militia elements have killed thousands and razed hundreds of villages since Mr Buhari assumed power in 2015, to either accept the controversial ruga policy or continue to endure violence with his people.

Last month, Mr Buhari also stood Isa Pantami, one of his cabinet ministers who was recently exposed as a hardline jihadist and lover of Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and other groups and persons long associated with terrorism.

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Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption hits record high of 93m litres

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Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption hits record high of 93m litres

Nigeria’s daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol was at an unsustainable level at 93 million litres a day in April 2021 from an average of 61 million litres consumed in the previous months. This translates to a daily spend of N7.10 billion on subsidy.

Petrol consumption in West Africa is estimated at 120.80 million litres daily and at 93 million litres daily consumption, this means that Nigeria alone accounts for 77 percent of petrol consumption, even though it has 52 percent of West Africa’s population and accounts for 65 percent of the sub-region’s gross domestic product (GDP).

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Major depots including Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company Ltd (NPSC) in Ejigbo, Mosimi, Emadeb Energy’s depot, Matrix Energy’s depot, AYM Shafa’s depot, Aiteo’s depot among others lifted a total of 43.90 million litres, accounting for 47 percent of Nigeria’s daily evacuation. Smaller depots around the country make up for the difference.

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How Suspended NPA MD, Hadiza Bala Ceded Intels Terminals To Dangote

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How Suspended NPA MD, Hadiza Bala Ceded Intels Terminals To Dangote
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Suspended Nigeria Ports Authority Manager, Hadiza Bala, was involved in a clandestine ploy to shortchange a company in favour of Africa’s richest, Aliko Dangote, documents obtained have revealed.

Last year, some coastline terminals formerly operated by Integrated Logistics Services’ (INTELs) in Onne ports complex, Rivers state, were confiscated and subsequently awarded to Dangote through a proxy company, International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) Nigeria limited.

Onne Port Complex is the one of the largest Oil and Gas Free Zone in Africa, where major industry players from the exploration up to the completion phases operate.

The complex has two major terminals namely the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT).

For over a decade, INTELs Nigeria, partly owned by former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar, operated some berths at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) of the complex, providing logistics services until 2020.

The three berths of FOT numbered 9, 10 and were taken over by the NPA in a controversial manner, which many thought was a move by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration move to witch-hunt Abubakar, his opponent in the 2019 election and break the company’s monopoly

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The NPA, in September 2020, issued a notice, announcing that the service operation handled by the Integrated Logistics Services (Intels) Nigeria had been terminated.

It went on to further state that all Service Boats Owners and Operators are to do transactions directly in each of the Port Complex of the Nigerian Ports Authority.

Meanwhile, a memo released to the press, seen by Business Kobo showed that Usman had transferred the berths confiscated from INTELs to ICTSI, a proxy company traced to Dangote, five months earlier.

The leaked memo, dated May 13, was signed by Yusuf Ahmed, NPA’s Director of Lands & Asset Admin on behalf Usman

“Please refer to the lease of land and berths 9, 10 and 11 granted to you at FOT Onne and find attached herewith the draft Lease Agreement for a review of its possible contents before the final copy is produced for execution,” the letter addressed to the managing director of ICTSI read.

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Ahmed urged the company to send their comments for consideration

“A registered surveyor will be appointed to produce the survey plan of the property to incorporation in the Lease Agreement and you will be required to see the surveyors fees,” it further read.

This was not Usman’s first time dealing with Dangote as money transfers between the duo dates back to 2015.

A Nigerian newspaper, Peoples Gazette, had previously reported how Dangote transferred N200 million to a bank account run by Usman during the build up of the 2015 general election.

The transactions were sent in two tranches from two different bank accounts of the Africa’s richest man to Ms. Bala Usman’s account with Access Bank, the newspaper reported.

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“Ms. Bala Usman received the first N100 million transfer on February 6, 2015; while the second N100 million came through three days later on February 9. The transfers carried ambiguous descriptions that made it difficult to conclude their purpose.”

Ms Bala was recently instructed to step aside for an independent investigation into a series of allegations of impropriety.

Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, also alleged that the yearly remittance of operating surpluses by the regulatory body from 2016 to 2020 was short of the amount due for actual remittance — a claim, which according to him, should be investigated.

While details of some of other allegations against Usman remain unclear, sources said acts of favouritism were part.

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