Minister of State for Finance has blamed the rising rate of poverty in the country on the negligence of state governors.
Mr. Clement Agba blamed Governors for competing among themselves to build bridges and flyovers leaving their citizens to wallow in hunger. The Minister spoke Wednesday while addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister expressed sadness at the negative poverty index in Nigeria caused by the Governors, thereby leaving the rural dwellers to their fate. He said most of the infrastructures they build at the state capitals have no direct bearing on alleviating the suffering of the majority of the masses both in the rural and urban communities.
According to him, “The governors basically are only functioning in their state capitals. And the democracy that we preach about is delivering the greatest good to the greatest number of people.
“Our demographic shows that the greatest number of our people live in rural areas, but the governors are not working in the rural areas.
“Right now 70% of our people live in rural areas they produce 90% of what we eat. And unfortunately, 60% of what they produce is lost due to post-harvest and it does not get to the market.
“I think from the federal government side we are doing our best. But we need to push that rather than governors continuing to compete to take loans to build airports that are not necessarily where they have other airports so close to them. Our governors are now competing to build flyovers all over the place and we applaud. They should concentrate on building rural roads so that the farmer can at least get their products to the market.
“And you find that if they do that and with the new policy in the national development plan that talks about taking power to the rural areas, especially of out-grid power that can easily be put, you begin to attract industries to those areas for value addition.
“UNIDO report shows us in terms of employment, the MSMEs employ 70% of our people. So you can imagine how much progress we will make when you find that there are roads, there is power in these rural areas.”