Governor Umaru Bago of Niger has said that the majority of the population in the State live below the poverty line.
He made the assertion while delivering a keynote address at a Sustainable Economic Development Cluster (SEDEC) programme for critical stakeholders in Minna on Tuesday.
The event is organised by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Bago, represented by the Deputy Gov. Yakubu Garba, said that statistics of inequality on a wide range of indices in the state was worrisome.
“Over half of our population live below the poverty line. Some of the ills bedeviling us as people include perennial insecurity, lack of quality and affordable education and economic downturn.
“Others are poor healthcare, lack of access roads and unemployment,” he said.
The governor pointed out that corruption was also responsible for the perennial insecurity, poverty, economic downturn and unemployment in the state.
”While these challenges are multifaceted, corruption is obviously the cancerous worm responsible for the woes, ” he added.
He noted that corruption had taken a centre stage in the public and private endeavour and that patriotism in the context of national interest had been relegated.
According to him, good governance and accountability for the good of the people has become a mirage.
He, however, said that his administration was determined to propel a paradigm shift and set a new bar in addressing the challenges and pledged the state government to GIZ.
In his remarks, Mr Marcus Wauschkuhn, SEDEC Coordinator said the organisation would focus on economic development.
He said that the organisation would also help to improve market access and access to finance for MSME in the new phase of its programme from 2023 to 2026.