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Sultan urges review of poverty alleviation strategies

By Kelvin Ebiri and Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt   |   04 May 2017   |   4:07 am  

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar has decried the growing level of poverty in the country in spite of the huge revenues that had accrued to it in the past two decades.

While lamenting that poverty does not only depress the society but also lower peoples self esteem, create human safety and security challenges, he canvassed for a review of the various poverty alleviation policies and strategies of the country.

Abubakar stated this in a paper titled: Traditional Institutions in Nigeria and the Challenge of Reengineering Viable Local Economies, which he delivered at the traditional rulers day in Port Harcourt yesterday as part of events marking the 50 years anniversary of the state’s creation.

Those present at the event were governor Nyesom Wike, deputy governor, Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, some Emirs from the Northern part of the country, among other dignitaries.

Abubakar pointed out that poverty has been growing at an alarming rate in the country in the last two decades, in spite of the huge revenues, which had accrued to the country this period.

Citing the case of Rivers state, he said it had become imperative to check the amount of money that accrued to the government and what was done with it, whether the amount reflects what is on the ground in order to ascertain how bad policies affect the distribution of wealth.

“The fact that poverty has been growing in spite of all government measures suggests that something is wrong with the poverty alleviation policies and strategies adopted over the years.

“It is worrisome that so much money had been spent poverty alleviation programmes, yet the poverty gap has continued to widen and millions of Nigerians wallop in poverty,” he said.

He stressed that the situation smacked of a serious disconnect or disharmony between the policies, values and societal norms, adding, “It calls for a reevaluation of these policies and strategies, as well as governance, the essence of which our constitution says is the welfare of the citizens.”

Wike however, cautioned traditional rulers in the state to avoid meddling in partisan politics to retain the sanity of the institution.

The Chairman of the occasion and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi pointed out that traditional institution plays key and pivotal roles in nation building and urged monarchs across the country to live by example so that the society would grow and the people would live in peace.



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