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Invest in education, tackle poverty, Chinese envoy tells FG
22nd August 2023
By Gift Habib
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The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, has urged the Federal Government to invest in education, food, housing, and security if it wants to end poverty.
Jianchun gave the advice at the launching ceremony for the Hausa edition of Up and Out of Poverty (a book) and the China-Nigeria seminar on governance on Monday in Abuja.
According to the envoy, the book was written in 1988 by the current Chinese President, Xi Jinping, reflecting his thoughts on how to eradicate poverty, which he was able to do within 10 years of his reign (2012–2022).
Jianchun said the President had now “eliminated extreme poverty, of which, at that time, 99.8 million people were below the poverty line.”
The envoy said with the launch of the book, developing countries such as Nigeria would need to re-strategise and do the needful to remove their citizens below the poverty line.
He noted, “The Chinese definition of extreme poverty eradication revolves around two basic needs and three guarantees. For our basic needs, we have first food and then clothing.
“For the three guarantees, we have compulsory education, basic medical care, and safe housing.
Nigeria needs to fix the educational sector. The country has a lot of dropouts, and we all know that without education, a country cannot move forward.
“Nigeria needs to fix the medical challenges it is facing to eradicate poverty.”
Speaking at the event, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, said the book launch was timely, adding that out of 200 million Nigerians, 80 million live below the poverty line, especially in the northern part of the country.
Akume, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office, SGF, Aliyu Shinkafi, noted that the Hausa version of the book will help Nigerians benefit from the growth and development of China.
He said, “The book is translated into one of the three major languages so that our population can benefit from China.
“It is not by chance that the book was put together in Hausa because Nigeria has a population of 200 million; about 80 million live below the poverty line, especially in the North-West and North-East.”