President Muhammadu Buhari says the ongoing efforts to reduce poverty in the country continue to grow, with 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households, comprising more than 8 million individuals currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer program, while N300 billion has been disbursed to farmers.

He stated this while Speaking virtually at the opening ceremony of the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria

The President said the National Social Register of poor and vulnerable Nigerians had 32.6 million persons from 7 million poor and vulnerable households identified, imploring bankers to play a stronger role in improving livelihoods.

President Buhari said the National Social Investment Programme was biggest in Sub-Sahara Africa and one of the largest in the world.

According to him, “Some of the various initiatives embarked upon to boost agric trade in Nigeria include the Anchor Borrowers Programme through which the Central Bank of Nigeria had made more than 300 billion Naira available to over 3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities including Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soybeans, Groundnut, Fish, cultivating over 3.8 million hectares of farmland.

The President affirmed that the theme of the conference, “Economic Recovery, Inclusion, and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’ was most appropriate, following the global shocks from Covid-19.

According to him a report from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew 5.01 per cent in the second quarter of 2021; the strongest rise since the fourth quarter of 2014.

President Buhari implored financial institutions to play stronger role in making sure the Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises were fit for purpose, with support in full implementation of “Agreement”.

He said technological innovation was also important in the modern business terrain, noting that most transactions now take place online given the advent of the “Internet of Things”.


BELLO WAKILI