As the 2023 general election draws nearer, the International Organisation for Food, Shelter and Empowerment (IOFSE), has asked those that would emerge leaders at all levels to address the issues of poverty and other forms of deprivation in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of IOFSE, Ambassador Declan Okwudiri Oguine, gave the advice Wednesday in Ideato, Imo State while speaking on the forthcoming 2023 general election taking place from February 25, 2023.
The National Bureau of Statistics in November 2022, disclosed that N133 million Nigerians, representing 63 per cent of the population, are multi-dimensionally poor.
The NBS said that huge number of poor people in the country was caused by lack of access to health, education, living standards, employment and security.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s poverty exceeds global projection and had described the country as the poverty capital of the world,
Giving more insights on the poverty level in the country and the interventions of the global organisation, Chief Oguino, who was flanked by the Country Director and the Director of Operations, said although they have no interest in partisan politics, IOFSE is purely concerned about the needless ugly situation the people of Nigeria are facing, adding that with the huge human and material resources available in the county, the people of Nigeria have no reason to be wallowing in poverty and acute sufferings as is the case in the country for years.
He said that none of the administrations that have governed Nigeria over the years, has been able to find lasting solution to the malaise of poverty, unemployment, lack of shelter, quality education and others.
The IOFSE Executive Director, however, acknowledged that there have been laudable attempts by a few ministries and agencies in the past and present to address the issues, saying the efforts have failed to yield expected results.
He, therefore, posited that in spite of the campaign promises of candidates for the office of the president, governors and lawmakers at all levels, the incoming leaders should take the battle of confront poverty and empowerment of the people as first-line charge.
“What we believe at IOFSE is that ending poverty, which means, crafting and deploying policies that would empower the people, to make them self-sufficient and capable of employing others, should be the number one concern of the incoming administration at all levels.
“The above should be seen as an emergency, because almost every other aspects of governance are tied around poverty and deprivation. Deprivation and the pressure that comes with it is one of the major causes of insecurity and crimes,” he stated.
The IOFSE Executive Director, who said that the programme of the day coincided with the organisation’s annual distribution of palliatives and empowerment, said it has become unavoidable to distribute food, materials for shelter and money for empowerment to individuals and communities as a way of intervention to alleviate the palpable sufferings that is obvious everywhere.
“Within the yuletide alone, we distributed 650 bags of rice, cooking materials and cash for empowerment in this Ideato community alone. We did same in some other parts of Imo State. We have sent many students to top class universities in Nigeria and abroad, especially on science and technology as well as constructing technical colleges to equip young people with the necessary skills to face the future,” he said.
He also urged the people to go and get their Permanent Voter Cards in order to vote candidates of their choice.