COVID-19: Number of poor people in Nigeria will triple, says Buhari/ Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has observed the number of poor people in Nigeria will triple due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari made the observation in a recorded video message to a virtual high-level United Nations meeting focused on trends, options, and strategies in poverty eradication across the world.

Buhari said the novel disease which has tumbled economies across the globe has also negatively affected Nigeria's economic development which portends danger to its over 200 million population.

“All the while, they struggle with the most basic needs like nutrition, shelter, health, education and access to clean water and sanitation,” Buhari was quoted to have said.

“In this condition, the number of poor people is estimated to triple as livelihoods across almost all economic sectors have been adversely affected.

“It is my conviction that devoting our efforts towards human capital development, efficient management of our resources, greater financial inclusion and transformation of the agricultural sector to ensure food security are crucial to poverty eradication.

“In this regard, Nigeria continues to strengthen its existing social safety net initiative by increasing access to enrolees who fit the various programmes in the scheme.

“Nigeria will also continue to provide easier and increased access to financial services for micro and small-scale businesses through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme. But we are determined to do more.

“Nigeria holds the view that education is a critical driver of sustainable development and has an immense capacity to eradicate poverty.

“Educating our children, especially the girl-child, contributes significantly to the fight against poverty, environmental sustainability, and improved health, as well as building peace and resilient societies.”