One Love Foundation advises Buhari on urgent measures to address poverty
AS over 7 million Nigerians reportedly fall below the poverty line as presented recently by the World Bank, a non-profit making organisation, One Love Foundation, OLF, Friday, advised President Muhammadu Buhari, on urgent measures to address biting poverty across the country that has aggravated survival situation of Nigerians.
The advice was given by the Founder and President, OLF, Patriot Patrick Eholor, while speaking with Vanguard on the issues that have plunged over 7 million Nigerians into poverty, hence the rising insecurity, hunger, and agitations across the country.
Eholor said: “Another thing is lack of economic infrastructure. An infrastructure that supports economic growth at every level is essential to pull people out of poverty.
“In Nigeria, economic infrastructure includes things like access to micro-credit that help farmers invest in their crops and entrepreneurs lift their businesses off the ground. Micro-credit is an especially important tool for Nigerian women working to escape poverty.
“Female entrepreneurship and autonomy can provide financial stability to entire families and, by extension, larger communities.
“Another one of the main causes of poverty in Nigeria is the simple fact that many Nigerians, especially in rural communities, do not have the means to escape their circumstances. Setting up economic structures that empower Nigerian people is vital to combating poverty within the country.
“Economic infrastructure is not the only infrastructure that is lacking in Nigeria. Currently, a lack of a robust educational system underserves many of the poorest Nigerians. 10.5 million Nigerian children do not attend school at all, and 60 per cent of those children are girls.”
He added that, “These problems are especially profound in the northern, more rural parts of Nigeria. Terrorist groups such as Boko Haram that vilify Western education further exasperate the situation.
“Education gives many the skills they need to enter the workforce and escape impoverishment, and the lack of educational opportunity is one of the truly devastating causes of poverty in Nigeria.”
He further stated that, “Poor Access to Healthcare; Nigeria might be the most populous country in Africa, but they are running low on healthcare professionals. The current ratio of nurses, midwives and doctors to patients is 1.95 to 1,000.
“With such a low density of medical care available, many people in Nigeria either go completely without medical care or without enough medical care. But sickness is costly, and oftentimes can trap people into never-ending cycles of poverty. Improving Nigerians’ access to healthcare is an essential step to reduce the amount of poverty in Nigeria.
“At the surface, these problems can seem daunting and unsolvable. But the first step to crafting sustainable solutions is understanding the contours of the problem. By understanding the causes of poverty in Nigeria, organizations like UNICEF and WHO have started various initiatives to strengthen the economic, education, and health care infrastructure in Nigeria, as well as reduce government corruption.
“Working hand in hand with international partners, Nigeria is continuously demonstrating its commitment to crafting a better future for its impoverished citizens.”
He also expressed worry and warned that, “Without thoroughly addressing these issues, we may experience the worst ratings in the years to come.”
However, the social-justice crusader accused some politicians of being responsible for the pathetic and precarious quagmire Nigerians found themselves in the horrible pit of excruciating pain of poverty.
“This corruption is one of the major causes of poverty in Nigeria. Government officials often take payments from oil companies that are supposed to go into public trusts—payments that can often total more than $1 billion, and instead siphon that money into their own personal bank accounts.
“When government officials engage in this kind of corruption, the poor and underserved populations within Nigeria are inevitably hurt. If these large sums of money stopped going into government officials’ pockets, the Nigerian government could use that money to build up the country’s infrastructure—electricity, roads, running water and more”, he stated.