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We’re doing our best on poverty reduction – Govs reply Buhari

We’re doing our best on poverty reduction – Govs reply Buhari

Some states yesterday said they were doing their best to tackle poverty in rural areas.

They were reacting to the claim by Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, that states were not doing enough to address deprivation.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the minister said rather than complement social intervention initiatives aimed at reducing poverty, the states misdirect resources to projects that have no direct bearing on the people.

While some of the states absolved themselves of blame, others declined comments when our correspondents contacted some of the officials.

Ondo Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, said a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) placed the state as having the lowest percentage of households deprived of education, monetary poverty, and basic infrastructure.

She said the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA) was created to stimulate economic development.

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, through his Chief Press Secretary Onyebuchi Ememanka, said: “What the minister said doesn’t apply to us.

“Abia State is third on the list of least poverty-stricken states released by the Federal Government.

Read Also: Buhari liberated more Nigerians from poverty despite challenges – FG

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, faulted Agba’s claim.

He said his administration has been delivering people-oriented projects, including roads to link agricultural communities to nearby markets.

The governor, who spoke while inaugurating the first road to Rumuodogo, a set of communities that had never had a tarred road in Emohua Local Government Area, said the minister should have investigated his claims before making them.

He said the road to Rumuodogo was evidence that his administration had been constructing rural roads to boost agriculture.

Wike said: “I watched one of the ministers on TV. When they go on television they open their mouth and talk anyhow. He said governors were the problem because they don’t do rural roads.

Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni’s spokeswoman, Mamman Mohammed, said it was wrong for the minister to make such a general statement.

According to him, Yobe’s investment in the Cargo Airport will bring foreign investment that will rub off on rural communities.

“The minister, unfortunately, made a general statement not minding the peculiarities of the individual states.

Delta State government rejected the minister’s claims.

Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said it was unhelpful for the minister to play the blame game.

He said: “I think at this point in time, it will not be healthy for anybody whether at the state or federal level, to be looking for who to blame for the challenges we have.

Ebonyi State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Stephen Odo, faulted Agba.

He said: “Yes, we are building bridges and flyovers and roads but if you look at what is happening in Ebonyi, we are investing resources in the rural roads.

“We are one of the states that are interconnected to the state capital by all the local governments.

On the airport, the commissioner added: “There are benefits that will accrue to Ebonyi and the people of the state from the airport.”

Oguike Nwachuku, the spokesman of Governor Hope Uzodimma, said Imo was not one of the states the minister was referring to.

Plateau State Commissioner of information, Dan Manjang, said: “II don’t speak for governors. I speak for the Plateau State government.

“If he (minister) had narrowed it down to Plateau, I would have reacted.”.

Bauchi Commissioner for Information, Yakubu Ningi, said: “I can’t speak without the governor’s permission.”

Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, did not pick up his calls.

We’re doing our best on poverty reduction – Govs reply Buhari

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