Statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as quoted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has it that Gombe State has the lowest poverty rate in the North-East subregion, this is as poverty continues to ravage most parts of Northern Nigeria.
The disclosure was made by Mr Yusuf Auta, the Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, in his goodwill message at the commencement of a five-day workshop on the development of implementation plan and costing of Gombe social protection policy, organised by the budget planning and development partner coordination office, Gombe State, in conjunction with the UNICEF.
Yusuf Auta said that Gombe State is one of the states with the lowest poverty rate in the North-East according to the 2019 Poverty and Inequality in Nigeria by the National Bureau of Statistics, 2020.
He explained that the figures were also captured in the state’s social protection policy document recently developed adding however that there is multi-dimensional poverty among children in Gombe state like all states in Nigeria.
According to him, a child is multi-dimensionally poor if deprived in any three of the following: nutrition, health, water, sanitation, education, housing and information.
He, however, commended the Gombe State Government for developing the policy document, adding that it would place the state on the path of growth and development.
He stressed that “With the effort of the State Government as clearly expressed and visioned in its social protection policy document of providing ‘Better life for all’ the children of the state will grow in an environment that will enable them to compete favourably with children all over the world.”
He also said that the policy would promote the well-being of children and women in the state if implemented adding that “UNICEF is happy to be part of this process because it affects the lives of women and children. UNICEF pays attention to women and children because it is the credo of development.”
While assuring of UNICEF’s continued support to the state with technical assistance in order to address some of the policy’s issues, Yusuf Auta said that “Social protection policy provides the platform for UNICEF to support women and children to have a better life. So, we are here to come up with an implementation plan which will be in accordance with the budget provision of the state.”
The meeting had participants from government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), traditional institutions, development partners, academia and the media, among others.