A $1 billion (N135 billion) investment has been targeted this year by Federal Government on projects that would shore-up the fortunes of the nation\'s non-oil sector.
This disclosure was made in Lagos last week by the Co-ordinator of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Dr. Magnus Kpakol.
Kpakol told editors at a business luncheon of the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Lagos on Thursday that the reform programmes of the Federal Government were yielding good results and would lead to rapid economic growth and development.
He said that the growth rate of the economy in 2004 was about 6 per cent and that the level of poverty in the country had dropped from about 65.6 per cent to 54.4 per cent.
The national co-ordinator, who was a former economic adviser to the president, said that the ongoing partnering of NAPEP with the private sector would result in more creative ideas that could help in the battle to eradicate poverty in the country.
He gave some of the ongoing private sector partnership as Glo-NAPEP project in seven states, Dangote-NAPEP project and the arts and craft centres.
Kpakol disclosed that micro credit, farmers empowerment, community economic sensitisation scheme and partnerships were some of the ongoing micro monitoring projects of NAPEP.
According to him, the ongoing macro monitoring programmes of NAPEP include power, roads, education, health, water, housing, security, sports and the overall economy of the country.
Kpakol said that millions of dollars were repatriated home yearly by Nigerians working abroad and that NAPEP would soon work out a scheme that would promote and properly utilise both the local and foreign remittances to improve the welfare of the rural poor in the country.
Speaking on the ongoing micro credit plus of NAPEP, Kpakol said that over N500 million of revolving credit had been provided nationwide and achieving a saving of over N50 million.
He said that N250 million had been provided for capacity building by NAPEP and that credit unions had been created for generating savings and provided about N240 million for farmers empowerment and developing agro allied activities.
On NAPEP\'s Keke-NAPEP, Kpakol said that 4,000 operators were engaged nationwide in special capacity enhancement project and that a gross annual revenue of about N1 million per vehicle could be realised.
Apart from the local capacity enhancement projects of NAPEP, Kpakol says the organisation was focusing on Africa-centred globalisation.
He believes that developing African capital, promoting African merchandise, involving more Africans in production, generating partnerships across Africa and marketing Africa to the world would assist in the eradication of poverty and could lead to the economic growth and development of Africa.http://odili.net/news/source/2005/mar/15/32.html