More than two million vulnerable Nigerians have been positively impacted by projects implemented under the Federal Government’s National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) for the year 2022, according to a recent report.
The report was presented by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, at a meeting of the NPRGS Steering Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The progress report highlighted various achievements of the NPRGS, including the impact on smallholder farmers, vocational training for youths, rural road construction, and employment generation.
Under the Agriculture for Jobs Plan, 1.6 million smallholder farmers were impacted, while 13,000 youths were trained under a Technical and Vocational Education and Training program in six states.
Plans are also underway to provide similar training for 2,000 beneficiaries in Edo State. Moreover, over 8,000 Nigerians were employed in rural roads construction, with 40 rural roads built in 120 communities, covering about 57.3 km across the country.
The report further revealed that programs such as the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP) and Construction of Rural Roads achieved 100% completion with the release of N50 billion. The total number of direct beneficiaries of the implemented programs currently stands at 1.8 million vulnerable Nigerians, and a total of 9,527 Nigerians have been directly employed through the implementation of these programs.
In addition to the achievements in 2022, the committee approved the sum of N250 billion for the execution of projects for the year 2023.
These projects include the provision of 100,000 homes for low-income earners, which would create 1 million jobs directly and indirectly, the expansion of energy access through the provision of 1,200 solar street lights in rural communities and six mini-grids for high-capacity productive farming under the Solar Naija Programme, creation of 4.5 million direct and indirect jobs through the Rural Roads program, and provision of N9 billion support for over 1.6 million vulnerable smallholder farmers for the 2023 wet season farming under the Agriculture for Jobs Plan.
Additionally, the expansion of the National Social Register with an additional 3 million households is also part of the planned projects for 2023.
Despite acknowledging that the implementation of the NPRGS has not reached expected levels, the Co-Chair of the Technical Working Group for the Committee, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, stated that efforts were being made to touch each of the targeted 15 areas of implementation.
He also mentioned that over N50 billion had been spent so far, and nearly every aspect of the 15 areas targeted was being implemented in one way or the other.