The Federal Government has stated that state governments are to be blamed for the high poverty rate in the country.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, who addressed State House Correspondents after the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said failure of state governments to contribute their quota of development responsibilities to the grassroots where the major production activities take place, has contributed to poverty level in the country.
Agba, who also attempted to defray the notion that rising levels of hunger and lack were peculiar to Nigeria, explained that the Federal Government, through many of its social security programmes, has been dedicating resources to alleviating hardship on the public.
The minister also accused state governments of misdirecting their share of national resources to projects that have almost no direct effect on the needs of the people.
Speaking further, he lamented that 72 percent of the poverty in Nigeria is found in the rural areas, which he said had been abandoned by governors who he claimed prefer to function in the state capitals.
He also said some Governors are concentrating on building flyovers, airports and other projects that are visible in the state capitals rather than investing in areas that directly uplift the standard of life of the people in the rural areas.
The Minister added that while states are in charge of land for agriculture, they do not invest in them for the desired effect on their rural citizens.