Malam Muhammad Bello the FCT Minister said that the Federal Government ( FG ) is committed to putting an end to poverty in the country.
Malam Bello stated this at a charity football match tagged: ‘Kick – Out Poverty’ organised to mark 2017 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Sunday in Abuja.
According to him, one of the greatest challenges confronting humanity in the 21st Century is chronic and excruciating poverty that is unsparing of race and creed or even nationality.
“Combating this obstacle to good quality living has been a global issue for as long as the existence of humanity.
“The present administration through its social safety and economic programmes consisting of the N-Power scheme, the school feeding programme as well as the conditional cash transfer scheme are all geared towards ending poverty.
“The dispensation is moving towards ending the phenomenon circle in which many Nigerians have unfortunately found themselves,’’ he said.
The minister said the FCT is keying into all the programmes while embarking on several others of its own.
“We are, however, all aware that the economic downturn has made it quite clear that government alone cannot meet all its obligations in this regard.
“That is why when non-governmental organisations such as Elizabeth Foundation come with laudable programmes such as this football match today to partner with us in this anti-poverty fight, we welcome them with open arms.
“The aim of this football match is to create public awareness on the problems posed by grinding poverty and what we all can do as individuals or group to combat it,’’ he added.
Bello urged both the spectators and players to leave the match venue with a clear determination to do all that is possible to end the poverty vicious circle.
He appealed to the legislative arm of government, who happened to be part of the participants of the match to enact laws that will provide succour for the needy.
“And the celebrities should use their fame to draw attention to the dangers poverty poses to the society,’’ he said.
Speaking earlier, Mrs Angel Adelami, Founder of Elizabeth Foundation said the foundation is a vision of like-minded persons who believe that poverty is neither normal nor acceptable.
“We are a concern with the plight of widows suffering cultural malpractices, children orphaned or displaced by conflicts and products of broken homes.
“The common denominator for all these groups is that they are all poor. We at Elizabeth Foundation believe that poverty is a disease.
“Like measles, tuberculosis, malaria and ebola, poverty is curable and can be eliminated. Our present areas of focus are provision of clean potable water, sanitation and skills acquisition,’’ she said.
She said that without the active collaboration and partnership of the stakeholders like government, NGOs, corporate bodies, the Media and victims of poverty, the goals cannot be achieved
“Therefore, in partnership with government, we specifically note the place of the legislature as an important branch that can change the course of the ugly trend through purposeful legislation.
“We must also ensure that government interventions aimed at poverty reduction achieved meaningful results and targets,’’ she added.
Adelami said that the foundation needs to raise at least N200 million to enable them to undertake several projects and programmes across the country.
“We sincerely hope and appeal that you will meaningfully contribute both morally and financially to the fund in order to increase our capacity to kick out poverty in Nigeria,’’ she said.
Also, the Speaker House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara congratulated the foundation for coming up with such great idea.
He assured Nigerians that the legislative arm would do all that is beneficial to all Nigerians.
He called on executive arm of government to do the needful to give the nation the best.
The novelty match between the Team House of Representatives and the Team Nigeria Media ended two goals to nil in favour of the Team House of Rep.