THE federal government of Nigeria is partnering with its United States counterpart to reduce extreme poverty in Nigeria, especially in the insurgency ravaged North eastern part of the country. Towards this end, the federal government has signed a $2.3billion assistance agreement with the US Agency for International Development.
The agreement, which is expected to run for five years, would cover activities of the government from 2015 to 2020.
The agreement was disclosed in a statement by Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the vice president on media and publicity, on Sunday, October 4.
According to the statement, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, had last week in a meeting held at the presidential villa, Abuja signed the agreement on behalf of the federal government while Michael Harvey, USAID head of mission in Nigeria, signed on behalf of the US government.
“The issue of the extreme poverty of a vast majority of Nigerians is a very important issue for us, it is at the heart of our economic policy, at the centre of our agenda. You can’t have that vast number of poor people and don’t plan around that and for us, this is crucial, and absolutely important,” Osinbajo said at the occasion.
Also speaking Harvey said the agreement would provide a solid foundation for the two countries to partner to reduce inequalities across the country.
Essentially, the treaty is expected to “stimulate inclusive economic growth, promote a healthier, more-educated population and help strengthen good governance.”
Akande further said that the US government had shown more than a passing interest in the present government in Nigeria, noting the country’s relationship with that of the US improved on the heels of the recent visit of President Mohammadu Buhari in July.
— Oct 5, 2015 @ 13:00 GMT