Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State says his state is not one of the poorest in Nigeria, contrary to a current report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Tambuwal made this clarification in a statement in Sokoto on Monday by Malam Muhammad Bello, his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs.
The governor spoke while receiving a report entitled: “Sokoto Development Plan: 2020-2025”.
The April 2020 Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS) report released by the NBS covering the year 2019, indicated that nine of top 10 poorest states in Nigeria are from the northern region, listing Sokoto, Taraba and Jigawa as among the poorest.
“I do not intend to join issues with the NBS, but I appeal to them to come clear on their variables and how they do their assessments of poor states in Nigeria.
“We also want to know how NBS arrived at Sokoto being the poorest.
“We know that, as a matter of fact, something must be fundamentally defective and wrong with their processes and the outcome of those processes.
“The fact of the matter is when you look at the programmes we are implementing in Sokoto State, they are people-friendly.
“They are promoting and supporting the vulnerable, the poorest of the poor.
“Even, what we are doing through Zakkat and Waq Commission (SOZECOM) alone, I am not aware that there is any state that is doing as much,” Tambuwal said.
He said that his administration had spent N4 billion to uplift the businesses of over 200 small scale traders across the 23 local government areas of the state.
“This is in addition to the N258.8 million spent this year on the provision of relief materials for orphans and the needy by SOZECOM.
“The preceding year, we spent N237.9 million on the same venture.
“Not only that, the increase in ease of doing business and a lot of things that this administration had done to actually improve the lives and wellbeing of the citizens of the state,” he said.
The governor added that time would tell the true position of things, saying the state government would monitor the NBS and see what it would come up with in its next report.
“Whether they will actually reflect the true position of Sokoto State in Nigeria, in terms of rating of poor states.
“We believe that we are not poor and in due course it would unfold,” Tambuwal said.