By Stanley Onyekwere
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has advocated for more legislation that would provide relief for the needy as well as support for celebrities to use their fame to draw attention of the government to the dangers poverty pose to the society.
Bello made this point at a Charity Football match, tagged “ Kick-out Poverty Charity Football Match”, organised by the Elizabeth Foundation at the weekend, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He stressed that one of the greatest challenges confronting humanity in the 21stcentury is chronic excruciating poverty that is unsparing of race or creed.
Represented at the occasion by, the Secretary, FCT Education Secretariat, Senator Isa Maina, Bello acknowledged that government has not succeeded with its numerous programmes on poverty eradication, but vowed that the battle against poverty will be executed with the empathy it deserves.
The minister, who linked diseases, crime, lack of education and terrorism to poverty, noted that the administration has fully key into the federal government social safety and economic empowerment programmes consisting of the N- power scheme, the school feeding as well as the conditional transfer scheme towards ending the circle of poverty in the country.
Combating this obstacles to good quality living has been a global issue for as long as the existence of humanity.
“Sadly, however, we have not succeeded in our quest of pulling more than a third of our people out of the vicious circle of want,” he emphasized.
Also speaking, the speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, identified poor funding, lack of policy continuity as major obstacles that thwart government’s poverty alleviation programme in the country.
Dogara, who was a guest of honour at the event said that the recent National Bureau of Statistic report that about 112 million people in Nigeria was still living below poverty line, was disturbing and unacceptable for a nation that has enormous resources at its disposal.
He assured that the National Assembly will remain committed to evolving legislative and legal framework that will promote smooth execution of social welfare programmes. This was as he disclosed that the proposed bill to establish poverty eradication commission was at an advanced stage.
“The recent report of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that about 112 million Nigerians were still living below poverty level is unacceptable.
“The major obstacles to social welfare programmes in the country are poor funding, and lack of policies continuity, all these we at the National Assembly, are working to overcome with legislative and legal framework. NASS is also processing a bill for the establishment of poverty eradication commission”, he said.
Earlier, the Founder of the organisation, Mrs Angel Adelami explained that the Foundation is committed to partner with relevant organisations and deal with the problem of poverty, poor health care, quality education and inequality in the life of the orphaned, vulnerable children and widows in the FCT and the country at large.