By Seye Joseph – @seyetweets
Nigerians have been urged to support ‘Community Sponsorship’, a local fundraising initiative by Action Aid Nigeria.
Country Director of the organization, Hussaini Abdu who made the call at a media briefing in Lagos explained the project provides the opportunity for any willing person to make regular contributions towards empowering Nigerian communities and creating lasting change in the country.
According to him, the programme is aimed at getting Nigerians involved in active commitment to raise funds locally for development of communities and people in grim.
Abdul said ActionAid is working to scale up intervention in poor and excluded communities in Nigeria across six broad areas which include democracy and governance, health, education, food and agriculture, human security and women’s rights.
He noted that 69% of the population of the country’s population which is twice the size of the entire population of the United Kingdom still live in abject poverty.
“The poorest half of the population holds only 10% of national income and even though the economy has been growing at an appreciable level, the level of inequality has never been higher. This has been contributing to increasing levels of crime, insecurity and hopelessness in Nigeria,”, he said.
Abdu said that the ActionAid has expended resources in building over 125 school blocks, 75 community boreholes, and setting up hundred women cooperatives in order to increase credit.
The organisation’s local right programs according to Abdu has benefitted over 720,000 people of which is about 60% of them are women and girls.
He said the international organisation which now operates as a national organisation has been working to tackle structural causes of poverty since the last fourteen years and it has been taking rights based approach to working with the poor and excluded, with much particular efforts on women and girls.
He lamented the plight of women in the country noting that the political parties in the country do not have enough women aspirants for elective positions.
“In the permutations going on in politics today, there are just about two or three women going for governorship in the country. Of the 19 states of Northern Nigeria, there are no single women and within the ruling party and the opposition, there is no one saying that by championing women’s cause, we can have a strategic game. The attitude to women from the ruling party and the opposition is practically low”, he said.
The Country Director said the fund gathered through the initiative will help to create a dynamic movement that will help push the economic, civil and social rights of the poor and excluded.