Efforts by the President Buhari Administration to reduce poverty in Nigeria through its various Social Investment Programmes have continued to receive thumbs up from well-meaning individuals and organizations within and outside the shores of the country.
The latest is coming from Schwab Foundation, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum WEF, following its conferment of the prestigious Public Social Intrapreneur award on Mrs Maryam Uwais MFR, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments.
Mrs Uwais joins 40 other individuals selected from different countries across the World to receive the award in recognition of their innovative approach and potential for global impact.
The list includes start-up founders and chief executive officers, multinational and regional business leaders, government leaders and recognized experts who are working to address social and environmental issues with innovation, in areas ranging from water purification to financial inclusion to combatting
For more than 20 years, the Schwab Foundation has recognized social entrepreneurs as a new breed of leaders –
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values-driven, inclusive, compassionate and entrepreneurial, developing new sustainable models for business, human
development and environmental initiatives – and embedded them in the platforms of the World Economic Forum.
The 2019 awardees were formally inaugurated during the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit held on Sunday, September 23, 2019 in New York, United States of America.
Mrs Uwais, in a goodwill message to the global gathering, (following her inability to be present in New York), described the award as an International endorsement of efforts by the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the challenges relating to poverty and unemployment through the faithful implementation of the National Social Investment Programme N-SIP.
The Presidential Aide said the recognition is a call to action for the FGN to commit even more resources, assuring of continued transparency, efficiency and dedication in achieving the task of reducing poverty by 100m people in 10 years, in line with the target set by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
“I am truly encouraged by this International endorsement of our efforts, through the structures & processes we have put in place towards ensuring that we drive implementation and set standards at Sub-National level in Nigeria (where the work is primarily done).
This award acknowledges that the Nigeria is serious about reducing poverty and unemployment, while improving our human capital indices. It is also a testament to the willingness of our legislators (at the National Assembly) and the Governors in the States to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government in its bid to uplift the conditions of its hitherto less privileged citizens. The close collaboration from the Federal Government Ministries and Agencies, as well as the Governors and officials of the States and Local Government, has enabled us work towards our objectives, as one united and indivisible country.
I am humbled by this recognition and thankful to the Almighty for this opportunity to serve my country and it’s citizens. I am also grateful to the team that has worked assiduously towards achieving our modest successes. It has been a collective effort, personally led by the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN GCON.”
The Schwab Foundation provides a veritable platform of expertise, knowledge and resources, and a network we can engage with, for the work ahead. It is a privilege for me, to be able to learn, share and engage with the very best in social entrepreneurship, for the benefit of Nigeria and its citizens”
Mrs Uwais, whose appointment as Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment was recently renewed, has since 2016 been in charge of the National Social Investment Office, a portfolio of the Federal Government which coordinates all components of the Social Investment Programme in an inclusive manner, that is not only reducing poverty but also fostering financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Nearly 10 million pupils in 32 states across the country are currently benefiting from the School Feeding Programme, while close to 650,000 poor and vulnerable households in 27 States are enrolled onto the National Cash Transfer Programme.
This is in addition to over 2 million people who have benefitted from interest and collateral-free loans through Marketmoni, Tradermoni, and Farmermoni facilitated under the Government Economic and Enterprise Programme GEEP, just as N-Power, a job enhancement Scheme, has profitably engaged over 540,000 young people in all local government areas of the country.