•Blames governors for high grassroots poverty

From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

AS the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari winds down in four days, the Federal Government Thursday, acknowledged there still exists a yawning infrastructure gap estimated at $2.3 trillion.

To close the gap,the government stated the country would need to spend about $150 billion annually for 10 years in other to catch up the gap.

Giving a scorecard of Buhari’s Government as well as his achievements, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba said, yesterday, in Abuja, that the Buhari administration boldly conducted the multidimensional poverty survey away from the usual monetary poverty index which covers only the monetary index.

According to him, while about 69.6 million people are monetarily poor, 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor.

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Multi-dimensional poverty includes, not only monetary but deprivations of essential needs of life such as health facility, roads, water and housing.

He blamed the governors for the high rate of poverty or deprivations in Nigeria because their penchant to dissipate energy on developing the state capitals and urban areas and neglecting the rural areas, a situation that results in the development of slums in the urban areas.

Highlighting the progress made so far by his ministry, he said that he has been able to develop and implement critical growth and development which include, the Open Government Partnership (OGP), improved budgetary processes, improved procurement process, boosting of anti-corruption fight through the introduction of transparency in company ownership (establishment of Beneficial Ownership Register) and earning of Global Recognition for Beneficial for Ownership Effort.

Others are, earning of global recognition and awards for Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments, creation of budget line for OGP for National Budget, earning of global recognition for effort in extractive transparency, increase in sub-national transparency and accountability effort.

“Emphasis must be made that OGP is gradually transforming the governance ecosystem in Nigeria. It is pertinent that successive governments in Nigeria sustain the OGP and even show more political to consolidate on its successes.