Good news: US to fight poverty in Nigeria

The USAID has announced additional funding of N71.5 billion to help reduce extreme poverty in Nigeria

– The US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington says his country is also providing humanitarian assistance to people affected by the Boko Haram crisis.

The United States of America has announced plans to fight poverty in Nigeria through the provision of about N71.5 billion additional developmental assistance to support the five-year $2.3bn agreement signed with the federal government in 2015.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, made the announcement in a statement issued to newsmen on Tuesday, December 20.

The support would be given through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is intended to help Nigeria reduce extreme poverty by stimulating inclusive economic growth, promote healthier, more-educated population, and strengthen good governance.

The US envoy said the new funding of $227.3m had brought the total provision under the agreement to $702m.

He said: “We are pleased to announce new funding under the agreement signed with the Nigerian government in 2015 to provide better access to education and health services and promote democracy and economic growth.

“We know this funding will significantly improve the wellbeing of Nigerians.”

Ambassador Symington said the agreement which will run through 2020 will be achieved the USAID collaborating with some federal and state ministries.

He listed the federal ministries to include Budget and National Planning, Health, Agriculture, Power, and Education.

Symington said the US was also providing humanitarian assistance to people affected by the Boko Haram crisis and food insecurity in the north east and the Lake Chad Basin.

According to him, the U S provided more than $291m in humanitarian assistance to Nigeria in 2016.

Meanwhile, the federal government has approved the closure of nine foreign missions as part of its measures to reduce the cost of running Nigeria’s foreign representations due to the economic recession.

The government also reduced the number of officers at foreign missions, stopped posting staff of home ministries to foreign missions and approved the training of foreign service officers to carry out multiple tasks, including administration, immigration, trade, culture and education related functions.

This was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari, while declaring open an induction course for newly appointed career ambassadors at the NIA headquarters in Abuja on Monday, December 19.

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