Jibrin Barau, senator representing Kano north, says poverty is a weapon of mass destruction.
He said this on Tuesday while contributing to a debate on a motion entitled ‘commemoration of the United Nations International day for the eradication of poverty”.
The motion sponsored by Ali Wakili, senator representing Bauchi south, and 22 other legislators.
Barau said there is a need to strengthen the country’s agricultural system because “it is one of the ways poverty could be eradicated”.
The Kano senator said an industrialised economy would give the country food security.
“Poverty is dangerous and it goes beyond that, it is also a weapon of mass destruction. Poverty prevents one from having a good education, prevents from having good accommodation – you don’t have security. Then what do we do to eradicate poverty? I think the solution to that is to have a robust economy where you have sound industrialisation which will give us food security,” Barau said.
“While we try very hard to have a sound economy – strengthen our agricultural system but we have problems coming our farms, particularly those engaging in commercial agricultural are not feeling safe on their farms.
“Kidnappers have gone into their farms to harass them. This is something we need to look at because food security is very important in eradicating poverty.”
While moving the motion earlier, he said International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is intended to promote dialogue and understanding between people living in poverty and their society.
“It is meant to demonstrate the strong bonds of solidarity between people living in poverty and people from all works of life, and the commitment to work together to overcome,” he said.
“The recent data from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates that no fewer than 112 million Nigerians representing 67.1 percent of the country’s estimated population now live below poverty level. Hence the challenge for all to rise to the occasion to vanquish poverty.”
The senate called upon the federal, state and local governments to observe October 17 as World Poverty Day in line with the UN resolution.
The upper legislative chamber also urged the federal government to ensure free education at all levels.