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112m Nigerians live below poverty line – Senate

Urges FG to make education free, compulsory at all levels–

By Taiye Odewale Abuja Th e Senate yesterday on a day designated as International Day for Eradication of Poverty by the United Nations, lamented that “no fewer than 112 million Nigerians representing 67.1 per cent of the country’s estimated population are living below poverty level, going by the recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).”

According to the upper legislative chamber, the scenario requires education in the country to be made free and compulsory at all levels by the federal government as a potent weapon of wiping out illiteracy in the land and eradicating poverty in the long run. It also demanded that the policies and programmes already evolved by the federal government through the Social Investment Programmes and other poverty alleviation measures are vigorously pursued towards achieving the desired result.

The Senate’s resolutions in this respect were sequel to a motion moved to that effect by Senator Ali Wakili (APC, Bauchi South) and 22 others. Senator Wakili in his lead debate on the motion said the passage of the Poverty Eradication Bill has been the right step towards the actualisation of the UN agenda 2030 for sustainable development and meeting the obligation by all countries to end poverty in all forms.

He noted that the achievement of a world free from poverty provides a path towards achieving peaceful and inclusive societies as envisioned in Goal 16 of theSDGs, which key target is to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision making at all levels.

In his contribution, Senator Atai Aidoko Ali (PDP, Kogi East) called for adequate funding of necessary agency saddled with the responsibility of poverty eradication with a view to making life bearable for the masses of the country.

In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, said: “As a responsible senate we must focus on poverty eradication. We must ensure that we redistribute our resources and income to benefit every class of people.”

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