As every successive government in Nigeria continues to evolve strategic programmes that could eradicate poverty, a technocrat and successful business magnet, Chairman, Urban Shelter Limited, Malam Ibrahim Aliyu has asserted that, until frontal efforts are made by stakeholders at all levels of government to fight corruption to its knees and ensure that the nation’s population growth is effectively controlled, all measures aimed at getting out of poverty woods would end in futility.
He made this assertion while speaking as the distinguished Lecturer at the 3rd Public Lecture of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, on the topic: “Developing the Economy – Eradicating Poverty”, held at the Auditorium of main campus.
The Lecturer who was Secretary to State Government of Niger State during second republic and Chairman, Project Implementation Committee during General Abdulsalami Abubakar administration, posited that a growth rate of two percent in the economy and a population growth rate of three percent or more could only means increasing poverty in the country.
Malam Aliyu stressed that economic palliatives were not unhelpful, which most of the poverty programmes were intended for; adding that except basic structural variables that could accelerate economic growth and development were properly addressed, all efforts on poverty alleviation would be in aberration.
The Lecturer maintained that poverty is a cancer that was already translating into hunger and malnutrition in certain areas of the country, emphasising that it must be urgently checked to avert looming revolution.
The Philanthropist suggested that there was the need for equitable distribution of nation’s wealth and proper implementation of government policies and programmes, creating an open competitive economy as well as ensuring population control and family planning in order to reduce poverty to the barest minimum.
He recounted various economic dynamics that played out since colonial period to date and some measures taken by successive governments and stressed the need for full application of the laws and regulations in distribution of government resources.
According to the the Lecturer, “our economy must grow and must develop. We must eradicate poverty from our society. We have a mountain of work to do.”
In his address at the occasion, the Visitor to the University and Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso applauded the Lecturer; saying that the presentation was quite apt in view of current economic situation in the country.
He said that the lecture was able to outline a number of potent economic measures that could help in addressing the scourge of poverty in the country.
Alhaji Bello stated that lessons learnt from the presentation would be understudied by his administration with a view to identifying recommendations that could be adopted for the benefit of the State in general.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Mohammed K. Santuraki who was the Chairman of the Occasion, disclosed that there was no other time than now for governments at all levels in the country to put hands in glove for valid solutions to the problem of poverty that was fast destroying the entire nation.
He assured that the Council and Management was determined to do everything possible towards making the University champion intellectual discussions that would assist in the development of Niger State and the country in general.
Dr. Santuraki lauded the Niger State Government under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello for according the University full support, and expressed appreciation to the guest lecturer for honouring the University and intervening to complete an important project in the Institution.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Nasir Maiturare pointed out that the University chose the topic for discussion because it was in line with the policy thrust of the current administration at both State and National levels.
According to him,” poverty has taken a centre stage on the Nigerian landscape that it has become a centrifugal force driving down all other indices of human development,” stressing that, “the irony is that the world now lives in the most prosperous time in human history.”
Professor Maiturare disclosed that beyond intellectual engagements of Professors in the University on various national Issues, the Management also believed that there are other eminent personalities out there who have made significant achievements in their endeavours whose wealth of knowledge, experience and intellectual wealth, the University could leverage on to enrich its academic discourse.
The Vice-Chancellor said efforts would be made to further expound on solutions that would be brought to fore by the lecturer to help in addressing the pressing national challenges.
He stated that the University needed support and encouragement from well meaning individuals within the State and beyond to thrive.
Professor Maiturare thanked the Guest Lecturer for offering to complete the Department of Economics Complex which is one of the foundation projects in the University that has remained uncompleted.
The Vice-Chancellor also expressed satisfaction with the level of support and cooperation being received from the Niger State Government and called for more.
The event attracted a number of personalities including the former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu who spoke on changing the narrative of poverty level in the country.
The Registrar of the Institution, Alhaji Musa Ango Abdullahi, in his vote of thanks, appreciated the Visitor, the Distinguished Lecturer, the Chancellor and other dignitaries that graced the occasion.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of souvenir to the Guest Lecturer in appreciation of his honour to the University.