The challenges facing the Nigerian economy today are enormous and pose serious threat to our existence. Key among them is poverty and low capacity of the people resulting in poor domestic growth profile among other issues. A cursory look at our communities today shows one common feature that assaults your sight and which is the presence of idle youths, street hawkers/child labourers, who are either destitutes, school dropout, orphans etc. Sadly, they are not only on our major cities, a good number of them are in our local communities, practicing some form of terrorism and forcing people to do their bidding.
Today the popular saying that the idle mind is the devil’s workshop becomes so glaringly real as idle/angry youths foment so much trouble leading to wanton destruction of infrastructure and even lives. The question that easily comes to mind is what solutions, what can we do to support our people to live meaningful lives, ensure community
development and ultimately help synergize the efforts of government and other stakeholders in our collective quest to build a strong human capital for a better society in Delta State and Nigeria.
The plight of Nigerians was very aptly described in the recent World Bank Report which states that “Poverty in Nigeria is rising with almost 100 million people living on less than $1 a day despite its huge natural and human resources.
And the truth is, even though Government is showing some interest to better the lots of Nigerians, they cannot do it alone. There must be deliberate and sustained efforts by all stakeholders to build the capacity of Nigerians backed with strong infrastructure for its economic wellbeing.
It is with this overriding aim that Foundation For Effective Leadership and Development [FELD] has designed the two fold programme of My Education Quiz Play, a TV quiz programme for the educational advancement of Nigerian students to spur our youths into positive actions. Also, the Executive Summary economic empowerment programme for people at the grass roots to help the people harness their potentials adequately for economic prosperity is another platform to ensure the reduction of poverty in our communities.
No doubt, Nigeria’s communities are a rich source of talent and creativity, willing to explore their potential for the development of Nigeria. They only need an enabling environment to get started.
Therefore, there is an urgent need for us Nigerians to stop finding reasons for not doing well, whether as individuals, government or as a group. We should look inwards and work for solutions to problems so that we can improve on our status no matter how challenging. This however, requires a courageous mindset that can only be developed by taking a second look at great examples of people who have experienced the same challenging situations and who have resolutely changed their destinies by refusing to stay overwhelmed by the angst of life, but pursued their goals to triumph. Bangladesh among other hitherto extremely poor nations is a case in point and its poverty reduction
is an achievement on a massive scale.
An evidence accentuated in the latest United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Progress Report which states “that less than a third of people in Bangladesh now live below the national poverty line, a reduction attained in as little as a decade. New research has shown that women have been the centerpiece of this impressive human development turnaround. As women emerge from endemic poverty, they prioritise their children’s education and nutrition over most other spending”.
Conversely, FELD through its economic empowerment programmes has empowered over 225 persons in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State in various sums to support farmers with farm implements, artisans and traders with capital for their businesses. Over Sixty students both at senior secondary school level and tertiary institutions have also benefited from My Education Quiz Play, with different sums earned for their educational advancement.
This is perhaps one of the best ways to redirect the interest of our youths to constructive exercise, through constant study and research. FELD is a proud partner to the educational advancement of the Nigerian child and the
development of the economic wellbeing of the people at the grass roots. With the tremendous impact made so far since inception, it is evident that FELD’s activities are within the framework of New Partnership for African Development [NEPAD] and United Nations Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], working assiduously as change and development agent in synergy with relevant stakeholders, global institutions, states and federal government of Nigeria for global vision of poverty eradication among the world’s populace.
At FELD, we believe in the concept of reciprocal responsibilities, as we owe society the duty of support and love. We therefore call on like minds to join hands to make our society better.