Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said statistics available to him showed that 110 million Nigerians are poor.
This, he said, represented two-third of the country’s population.
Osinbajo spoke while granting audience to members of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies led by their President, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Onoja (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Vice President expressed concern over what he called extreme poverty in some parts of the country.
“When you look at the economic and social policies, and you look at the level of illiteracy in parts of the country, some are extremely bad and some with cases of about 80% or 90% of children out of school, and other cases of unimaginable decayed infrastructure,” he said.
He also claimed that some of the past polices and planning, including budgeting of government, did not reflect the needs and the conditions of the majority of the people.
He said past planning, policy formulation and budgets were not accountable to the people.
He challenged his guests to come up with solutions on how to formulate policies that will impact positively on the lives of the people.
Earlier, Onoja had declared the group’s support for the ongoing anti-corruption war of the present administration.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to stop at recovering looted funds but ensure that looters were jailed.
He said, “We fully support the statement credited to the Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman of our Heritage Council, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, that all those found guilty of corruption should not only have their assets seized or forfeited to government but also face jail sentences.
“We need institutional framework to prevent grafts and public theft. Therefore, we support Buhari administration’s move to do forensic audit of all revenue-generating agencies namely NNPC, CBN, Customs etc.
“There should also be adequate funding for anti-corruption agencies. The courts should also be empowered to prosecute fund offenders.”
Onoja promised his group’s readiness to partner with the the Federal Government in its efforts aimed at putting an end to insurgency in the country.