Banditory Will Continue If Poverty Is Not Addressed– Ex-NHIS Boss

A former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf, has said insecurity will continue until the issue of poverty in Nigeria is addressed.

He said this hours after the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), called for God’s intervention in the fight against insurgents and other criminals in the country.

Nigeria has faced severe terrorists and bandits attacks which has cost thousands of casualties.

The Federal Government has been widely criticised for its inability to protect the citizens.

In March, the Abuja-Kaduna train services carrying over 362 passengers was attacked by alleged terrorists leading to the death of eight, while 168 people are still missing.

“The minimum wage is N30,000, that is for states that pay minimum wage and that is for the people that have jobs. So people are suffering. When you have poverty and you have easy way of making money as bandit,” Yusuf said while discussing the ‘Fate of Train Passengers Abducted by Terrorists’ on AIT’s Kakaki.

According to official data, 33.3 per cent of 200 million Nigerians are not employed, while over 40 per cent of the population live below the poverty line, according to the Bank of Industry.

The World Bank had said that in 2020 alone, Nigeria’s inflation pushed 7 million citizens into poverty. In a recent report, the lender said the number of poor people will reach 95 million.

The NHIS boss said, “Bandits in some places in Zamfara have been reported by former IGP Abubakar, they have so much money to pay informants. Half a million naira for information.

“So, they have money in the midst of poverty. Governors in all the 36 states have masculated the local governments. Everything is taken into the capital. There is a sea of poverty in all the villages and local governments that have been made redundant now by the state governors.

“So, when there is poverty, what do you want people to do. You go to many villages I know in Katsina and it is reflective of many villages. You bring out N1000 and go to the village square, nobody can give you change, because people do not have the change.

“Price of goods is soaring, there is poverty, the naira has dipped, people buy kerosene, people buy diesel. The Federal Government needs to address human capital development, poverty needs to be addressed and bad governance.

“Unless you address these issues, insecurity will continue till the end of time. Good governance is the thing and we are not seeing that politicians are disconnected from reality.”

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