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Minister Betta Edu Advocates  Adequate Funding In 2024 Budget To Combat Poverty

In a passionate plea before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Minister Betta Edu expressed concerns over the adequacy of the 2024 budget  allocation for her ministry.

He  emphasized  that the allocated N532.5 billion is insufficient to effectively address the pressing issue of poverty in the nation.

During the session chaired by Senator Idiat Adebule, Minister Edu highlighted that while the  overhead ceiling witnessed a 28 per cent increase from the previous year, this rise did not adequately match the current inflation rate of 27.33 per cent in the economy.

 She argued that, given the challenging economic conditions, a more substantial increase was necessary to effectively tackle poverty.

The minister drew attention to the significant reduction in the capital budget ceiling, which plummeted from N3.7 billion in 2022 to N1.328316 billion in 2023, representing a staggering 71 per cent decrease.

 Despite a slight increment to N1.535 billion in the 2024 budget, Edu argued that this figure failed to align with the critical mission of the ministry to alleviate poverty.

Edu asserted, “Except the budget is appropriate for it, we would be completely unable to meet that mandate,” emphasizing the vital role that adequate funding plays in realizing the government’s commitment to poverty eradication. 

She urged the committee to go beyond conventional scrutiny and reassess the current budget, advocating for a more realistic and comprehensive financial plan that aligns with the prevailing socio-economic realities.

Furthermore, Minister Edu shed light on the ministry’s numerous special projects, which she refrained from detailing explicitly. 

She indicated the intention to leverage these projects and associated agencies to effectively address poverty-related challenges and meet the set targets.

In her closing remarks, Edu appealed to the committee’s dedication to addressing poverty with sincerity, underscoring the shared responsibility of legislators and the government in realizing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision of lifting Nigerians out of poverty.

 The minister’s plea marks a crucial moment in the ongoing budget deliberations, as stakeholders grapple with the imperative to balance financial constraints with the pressing need to alleviate poverty across the nation.

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