President Muhammadu Buhari has decried the excruciating poverty in the country, adding that the situation makes him uncomfortable.
Speaking during the breaking of fast at Aso Villa on Monday night, the president regretted the failure of the elite to address the welfare and educational needs of the less privileged in the society.
He charged the privileged Nigerians to support his administration in ameliorating the situation and providing succour to the people.
Buhari pointed out that the Federal Government introduced the “school feeding project, TraderMoni and other people-friendly programmes” to better the lot of the downtrodden.
He, therefore, commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for “successfully managing the school feeding and TraderMoni programmes.”
His words: “When I drive around the country, what upsets me very much is the status of our poor people in this country – you see young people, the so-called Almajiris with torn clothes, with plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat.
“The question of education (to them) is a luxury. I think the Nigerian elite are failing. We should have a programme that should at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are.”
Osibanjo, who also spoke at the event, urged Nigerians to continue being their brothers’ keepers and work for the nation’s unity regardless of ethnic and religious affiliations.
Besides, the government is to develop a National Technology Action Plan for Nigeria’s sustainable indurialisation drive.
Consequently, an audit of some key sectors to unearth what is lacking in the quest for technological development had begun.
The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Prof Okechukwu Ukwuoma, who dropped the hint at a stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja, noted that the roadmap would contribute immensely to the policy process of government.
He explained that the audit was considering soft and hard technologies, barriers and regulatory options as well as the strengthening of macroeconomic stability, stimulation of priority sectors and tackling of critical constraints to long-term economic growth.
The DG said: “Technology audit will help you to know what you have and what you don’t have. We want to use the audit to know if Nigeria has the requisite expertise, infrastructure that will help it advance technologically. Without the exercise, the country will continue to lag behind in global competitiveness.”