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The federal government attributes the rise in poverty on state governments.

The Federal Government has blamed the State Governments’ failure to fulfill their share of development obligations to the local level, where the majority of production activities are carried out, for the high percentage of poverty in the country.

Following the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that was held this week at the Presidential Villa in Abuja under the chairmanship of President Muhammadu Buhari, Clement Agba, the minister of state for budget and national planning, made the following statement to State House Correspondents.


Agba was responding to a query asking what he and Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, were doing to lessen the severe hardship that the majority of Nigerians are currently experiencing.


The Minister, who sought to dispel the idea that rising levels of hunger and poverty were unique to Nigeria, explained that the Federal Government has been devoting resources to easing public hardship through many of its social security programs, but noted that state governments, which have been receiving their fair share of national resources, had been misdirecting the resources to projects that almost had no direct impact on the needs of the public.


He noted that rural areas in Nigeria account for 72% of all poverty, adding that governors have abandoned these areas and prefer to conduct business in state capitals.


He bemoaned the fact that rather than investing in areas that directly raise the standard of living of those who live in rural areas, state governors are focusing on developing flyovers, airports, and other projects that are visible in the state capitals.


Agba emphasized that although states are in charge of agricultural land, they do not make the investments necessary to have the desired impact on their rural residents.


He advised Governors to concentrate on programs that can lift the majority of people out of poverty rather than on initiatives that will build skyscrapers, flyovers, and bridges.

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