Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State says the state is now the 8th poorest state in the country.
Mohammed said this on Tuesday in Bauchi at a Town Hall Meeting with the Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programmes.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Baba Tela, stressed that the rate of poverty and social inequality was caused by the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in the area.
“As I speak now, Bauchi is ranked 8th most poor state in Nigeria.
“The rate of poverty and social inequalities is sustained by the ongoing conflict with the Boko Haram and the effect of migration in the North East, which have greatly overstretched our limited resources.
“Data has shown that 83 million Nigerians are now living below the poverty line. It means these figures are considered poor, even by our own standard.
“It is now left to all of us to rise up to this challenge by taking decisive measures to reverse this alarming trend,” he said.
The governor said the meeting was organised by the state government, in collaboration with the Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programmes and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
Mohammed said that the essence of the meeting was to map out strategies to maximise the benefits of the programme to the people of Bauchi state and the nation at large.
“No doubt, the components of Social Investment Programmes have tremendously impacted on the academic wellbeing of our people, as we have clearly seen today.
“It is my conviction that the youth and women, who are the backbone of any meaningful development in the society, are well taken care of.
“It is in line with this that the government is creating an enabling environment to better the lives of our citizens through skills acquisition programmes in the state,” he said.
Besides, Mohammed said that government was making conscious effort to give priority to the interests of youth and women through its policies and programmes so as to improve the living standards of the citizens
He said that government would work with development partners to better the lives of the people of the state.