The Federal Government in Nigeria and the United States of America recently signed an agreement for $2.3 billion assistance from Washington towards tackling extreme poverty in Nigeria.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, explained that the money would be channelled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) over the next five years.
He said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government, while the USAID Head of Mission in Nigeria, Michael Harvey, signed on behalf of the U.S. government during a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last week.
Osinbajo had noted during the ceremony that since President Mohammadu Buhari’s visit to the U.S. and his meeting with President Barack Obama last July, the Nigerian government has seen better cooperation from the U.S.
He also stated that there has been a great deal of interaction on how the present administration intends to implement its agenda, and the interaction is because the U.S. wanted the Nigerian government to succeed.
According to him, the issue of the extreme poverty of a vast majority of Nigerians is a very important issue for us; it is at the heart of the Nigerian economic policy and at the centre of our agenda.
Osinbajo praised the inclusion of the North-East among the areas of focus in the agreement, adding that there was a consensus in government to address the problem of out-of-school children and the drop in enrolment figures in parts of the nation.
He promised that the Buhari administration would continue to lead a transparent and open government, clean up the business environment and emphasise a bottom-up approach to economic planning.
Akande explained that the $2.3 billion assistance would cover activities from 2015 through 2020 with the objective of helping Nigeria reduce extreme poverty in a more stable, democratic society.