Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said the federal government’s social investment scheme is targeted at lifting alleviating poverty in the country.
He pointed out that the N power social empowerment scheme which has over 500,000 beneficiaries, had helped in poverty reduction as well as in addressing unemployment.
He said this at the African Policy Road Show with the theme: ‘Building Robust Policies for Increased Social Investment and Inclusive Business’, which was organised by AVPA.
The vice-president, who was represented at the parley by his Special Adviser, Adeyemi Dipeolu, noted that there was a reduction in the inequality gap with the eradication of malnutrition in the country with the National School Feeding Programmed.
He noted that the school feeding programmed has provided jobs for over 106,000 cooks in 53,000 schools nationwide.
Also, private sector operators under the aegis of Inclusive Business Action Network (IBAN) and African Venture Philanthropic Alliance (AVPA) called on the federal government to utilise the potential in the network to contribute to its national growth agenda and develop the enabling policy framework to encourage business growth and capacity building among business operators.
The groups stressed that such move would help achieve long term Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while opening new market opportunities for inclusive businesses in Nigeria.
In his keynote address, the Chairman, Board of Directors of AVPA, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, emphasized the importance of partnership between federal, state, private entities and the social sector in building and strengthening a robust environment in which social investment and inclusive business can flourish in Nigeria.
According to him, “In the spirit of harnessing the power of partnership, we look forward to working with the federal, state and social sector to further strengthen the environment for inclusive business and social investments.”
Speaking at the event also, the Executive Director of IBAN, Christian Jahnn, said the organisation is a non-profit and non-partisan one designed to strengthen inclusive businesses in geographical spaces.
He said Nigeria has a huge and young population willing to work, and that the government cannot provide all the needed jobs for the growing population.
He added: ”We need the change and policymakers to achieve sustainable development goals. It is not rocket science. We must change the approach of doing business and integrate them along the value chain, and that is why we are being funded by the European Union and multinationals to develop capacity, encourage social investment by working directly with the mainstream economy.”
Also speaking at the event, former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, stressed the need to implement policy. He said it was not about having strategies but it should be implemented so as to have a catalytic multiplying effect on the economy.