Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says Nigeria has the highest number of poor people in the world.
El-Rufai made the remark at the launch of the Social Protection Agency in the state on Tuesday.
He said his government established the agency to ensure that all social protection programmes are delivered in an integrated, inclusive and sustainable manner.
El Rufai said the social register must be used for programmes designed to assist the poor.
He also asked the country to drop the idea of giving slots of programmes meant for the poor to the rich and powerful.
“Nigeria is going through trying times. We have the largest number of poor people than any country in the world. Yet, whenever a programme is designed to help the poor and vulnerable, we resort to a slot mentality in which important people are allocated slots instead of targeting those poor and vulnerable that deserve it.
“This is unfortunate. We must move away from slot mentality and use our social register to offer targeted support to those that truly need it,” he said.
He appealed to the political elite to “please drop this slot mentality” and use the social register, so that, programmes meant for the vulnerable can get to them.
In his remarks, CDGP National Programme Manager, Mr. Kayode Ajumobi, said Social Protection is not only a powerful tool to address poverty, but is also widely recognized as an important policy instrument to address economic, social and political exclusion and vulnerability.