Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has traced the high level of infant mortality rate in Nigeria to abject poverty.  He stated this while delivering his keynote address at late Justice Odo Effiong Bassey foundation 10th anniversary memorial lecture yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State.

This comes as the vice president said Nigerians’ frequent emphasis on federal character principle rather than merit has retarded the nation’s development over the years.  While justifying the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) policy on conditional cash transfer to poor Nigerians, Osinbajo also noted that there are about 110million extremely poor people in Nigeria.

Speaking on the principle of social justice, the vice president said, “No nation can contain the kind of poverty we have without a social intervention scheme to ensure the survival of the poor. “The reason why infant mortality rate is so high in the country is because of poverty. We have about 110million extremely poor people in Nigeria”. The vice president however, emphasized the need for hardwork, integrity and merit in the conduct of public affairs among Nigerians.

According to him, if governance must be taken seriously in Nigeria, people should be engaged in the public service based on merit rather than where they hail from.

He extolled the virtues of late Justice Bassey, and added that no modern society in the world has excelled without hardwork.

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