The governors of the 36 states of the federation have said they are surprised by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clement Agba over his accusation against them for Nigeria’s poverty index.
The Federal Government, through the National Bureau of Statistics, in November, said 130 million Nigerians are poor, representing 63 per cent of the nation’s population.
The minister had after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday told journalists that the Federal Government’s social investment plan had not impacted optimally because of a lack of cooperation from the state governors.
According to Agba, the governors concentrate on executing “bogus projects,” rather than improving lives in the rural areas.
But reacting in a statement signed by the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the governors described the minister’s comments as unnecessary and diversionary, saying they represent a “brazen descent into selective amnesia.”
According to them, the assertion by the minister that the rural populace had been abandoned by governors is not only preposterous and without any empirical basis, but also very far from the truth.
The governors also stated that in this scenario, the “dereliction” the minister talked about lay strictly at the doorstep of the Federal Government.
Saying that it did not indulge in joining issues with the Federal Executive Council, the NGF explained that its primary mandate was to partner with all well-meaning institutions; concerns; ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs); and individuals for the progress of the Nigerian people.
The governors urged top government functionaries to always provide Nigerians with the requisite answers rather than what they described as pointing incentives on soft targets which they said did not help matters