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FG Govt to introduce policy to address corruption, improved standard of living

The dialogue was organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, near Jos, in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria.

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Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz play Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The Federal Government says plans are on to introduce a policy aimed at addressing corruption and improvement of living standards of Nigerians.

The Secretary to the National Planning Commission, Mr Bassey Akpanyung, stated this in Abuja on Thursday at a one-day national dialogue on poverty in Nigeria.

The dialogue was organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, near Jos, in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria.

Akpanyung said that the situation in Nigeria in terms of corruption and poverty was of serious concern to the present administration, with Nigeria ranking as 166th out of 175 countries as at 2014.

He said that the Federal Government, in its bid to address the challenge, had taken steps to free up resources for investment in critical sectors of the economy.

According to him, these include the implementation of national social protection and safety net programmes for the vulnerable group.

"This is expected to be achieved through the blocking of financial leakages and also growing the size of government and the Treasury Single Accountant (TSA) system at the national level,” he said.

Akpanyung said that the Federal Government had embarked on the reform of budgeting and planning process by opting for the Zero-Based Budgeting and policy driven approach.

This approach was adopted for the preparation of 2016 Budget and 2016-2020 medium term successor strategic plan.

According to him, government intends to review and update the national strategic planning framework, to effectively mainstream anti-corruption and poverty reduction issues in the medium term successor development plan.

He said that the review focused on 2016-2020 strategic planning frameworks and 2016 budget currently being developed by the National Planning Commission in close collaboration with the Budget Office of the Federation.

The secretary said the key thrust and priority areas of the medium term successor strategic plan had been articulated.

Akpanyung noted that corruption and poverty issues were major components of the strategic policies and programme to be implemented.

He urged Civil Society Organisations, development partners and the private sector to unite with the government in ensuring effective realisation of the objective.

The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Dr Ojobo Atuluku, expressed concern that in spite of the country’s robust growth, it had not lived up to expectations in addressing the need of the populace.

According to Atuluku, Nigeria's economy, regarded as the largest in Africa, has failed to generate decent jobs and poverty is widespread.

"Nigeria has consistently ranked low on all international rankings relating to poverty. It has consistently been ranked the Low Human Development Index category,” she said.

She said the dialogue focused on providing a platform for discuss on poverty challenges by relevant duty bearers on the need for more strategic responses to poverty in the country.

According to her, it also seeks to provide space for collective visioning for the future of poverty eradication initiatives in the country.

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