Mr Prosper Okafor, President, Crusade for Greater Nigeria on Poverty Eradication and Social Matters (CFGN), has urged the federal and state governments to invest more in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Okafor said this would improve job creation and ensure poverty alleviation at all levels.
Okafor told our correspondent in Abuja on Monday that an SME- driven economy was key to job and food security through sustainable self-employment.
The president, who identified micro-economic growth as the roadmap to macro economic development, said SMEs remained inevitable to job creation and poverty alleviation.
“SME has the potential to end insecurity because when everyone is engaged, no matter how little, there will be no time for idleness and crime.
“In great economies like China and US, artisans run the economy because they have something doing, which is a function of SMEs,” he said.
Okafor commended the Federal Government for its interventions in tackling poverty and unemployment, but appealed for priority to be given to SMEs.
“My Non-Governmental Organisation has facilitated the workshops and trainings of thousands of youths in different skills just to help them escape poverty and joblessness,” he said.
Okafor explained that only investment in SME could take the millions of unemployed youths out of the streets, thereby relieving government of the burden of employment.
According to him, the country is burdened with youthful bulge which has made many graduates to be roaming the streets without jobs.
He reiterated the need for micro economic growth through SMEs which would rescue the youth from the doldrums of over dependence.
The president also said he had initiated a programme tagged “War Against Poverty (WAP)”, which was contributing to job creation and poverty alleviation.
“With the support of the federal and state governments, my WAP initiative is capable of taking millions of unemployed people off the streets, hence alleviating hunger and poverty,” he said.
Our correspondent reports that the poverty rate in Nigeria, according to the World Bank, is 46 per cent, representing 104 million poor Nigerians.