As political activities towards next year’s elections gather momentum, a pro-poor development organisation, PUSH AFRICA, has launched a nation-wide initiative to redirect the attention of politicians and policymakers to the urgent challenges posed by escalating poverty in the country.
The initiative tagged: “Do-one-thing Campaign,” according to the organisers, is designed to support the Nigerian government’s effort to reduce the number of poor people in the country by half.
It was gathered that the project is also directed at supporting similar anti-poverty initiatives by development agencies and private sector institutions.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the founder of PUSH Africa and convener of Do-one-thing Campaign, Doris Egbaramen, said prospective leaders aspiring for various political offices must give priority attention to the raging increase in the number of poor people in the country and to show to the Nigerian people that they have a practical and actionable plan to tackle pervasive and deepening poverty in their various constituencies.
“A key component of the campaign is to create a platform where Nigerians most hit by poverty can tell their own stories as it affects them so as to show the depth and harsh realities they live with.
“The projection is that by exposing the vulnerable conditions in which they live, the nation’s elected and appointed leaders will be encouraged to take serious and actionable steps towards solving the problem.
“Statistics show that about 95.1 million Nigerians – close to half of the country’s population still live below the poverty line,” she said adding that, “This current situation is disturbing and if we are not intentional about this issue, the statistics will get worse and the consequences in terms of negative socio-economic impact and underdevelopment will keep getting worse.”