The Federal Government is not unmindful of unemployment and poverty situation in the country, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said on Tuesday.
Such problems among others structural conditions which are responsible for violent extremism in the country are being addressed on daily basis by the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, the Minister added.
The Minister made the remarks at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, while delivering a keynote address at the public presentation of Policy Framework and National Action Plan For Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
Alhaji Mohammed said for instance the Anchors Borrowers Programmes has created over 6.3 million jobs for farmers through rice farming.
Listing the achievements of the present administration, the minister said the federal government served no fewer than 246.4 million meals to primary school pupils across 20 states under the National Home Grown School feeding programmes.
He said 10.27 million children have been enrolled in schools in the Northwest and North Central zones of the country in the last one year.
He said the N-Power programme which has engaged and deployed about 200,000 Nigerians would increase with about 300,000 this year following the steps of government to expand the programme.
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According to the Minister the Boko Haram terrorist group has been decimated and put on the run by the nation’s military due largely to President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership and political will which served as morale booster for the troops.
Said he: “Thanks to the leadership and political will demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari, which has served as a morale booster for our gallant men and women in uniform, Boko Haram has been decimated and put on the run by our gallant military.
“The record of success is there for all to see: At least 30,000 hostages kidnapped by Boko Haram extremist group, including women and Children, have been rescued by the military. More than 100 Chibok girls have so far been rescued.
“The government is committed to the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls while rehabilitating and reuniting them with their families and communities. Sambisa Forest has become too hot for Boko Haram and they are now escaping to neighbouring communities.
“Boko Haram is no longer able to carry out organized attacks. They hold no territory and their flag, which they were flying in Bama and other territories they used to occupy, has become a shroud”.
The Minister assured that his ministry would parner with all critical stakeholders to ensure the smoth implementation of the policy framework and action plan against violent extremism in the country.
He said as a soft approach towards tackling the current security challenges in the country, the administration would engage critical stakeholders in dialogue aimed at finding lasting solutions to the problems of herder/farmer conflicts, among others.
He added that government is taking a bold step to recharge the Lake Chad Basin which has shrunk by 90 percent since 1963, stressing that the holistic approach of government on the Basin would make lives more bearable for people within the area whose economic activities have been affected negatively.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Major General Babagana Monguno , said following President Buhari’s directive on the implementation of the framework on the 24 August 2017, it was therefore expidient to make a public presentation of the document to enable key stakeholders and principal actors key into its goals and objectives.
He said the framework which is in tandem with international laws and best practices adopted a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach for maximum benefits.
“Accordingly, it encourages the active participation of line ministries, departments and agencies as well as critical stakeholders from the different sectors of the civil society such as reliogious actors, youths, teachers, women and community based organisations.
“It provides a National Plan of Action at Federal , States and local government levels to ensure the delivery of targeted intervention that are both PCVErelevant and PCVE-specific”, General Monguno said.
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Author: Blessing Olaifa, Assistant Editor, Abuja