BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR.
A non-governmental organisation, Push Africa, has blamed extreme poverty as being responsible for increasing social vices in the country.
Speaking at the walk in Abuja to mark the Global Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Doris Egberamen, Founder of Push Africa, bemoaned the rising cases of social vices such as kidnapping, armed robbery and drug addiction being perpetrated by mostly youth due to unemployment.
Egberamen lamented that most of the youths are unemployed, a situation which has made them prone to social vices.
She however called on the Nigerian youth to embrace agriculture and entrepreneurship to break the shackles of unemployment and debilitating condition of poverty.
As part of measures to tackle unemployment and poverty head-long in the country, she called for partnership between the government and civil society groups, adding that government alone cannot win the fight against poverty in Nigeria.
Her words: “We know that the issue of poverty is getting worse by the day. Nigeria was declared recently as the poverty capital of the world. It is very embarrassing.
“I look around my environment; I see a lot of jobless people. Social vices today are a result of extreme poverty.
“We are putting together intervention programmes that would help to reduce poverty to the barest minimum in the country.
“Everyone has a role to play in national development. It is not all about government. Government cannot do it alone. All hands must be on deck to achieve poverty reduction in Nigeria.”
Egberamen further revealed that her organisation had concluded plans to establish skills acquisition centres in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory and Suleja in Niger State for the training of youths in agricultural practices.
She noted that her organisation had embarked on poverty alleviation programmes in the seven States of Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory,Abuja.
To this end, she called on the well-to-do individuals to use their resources to create a new lease of life for the downtrodden in the society.
While commending the Federal Government for initiating various poverty alleviation programmes such as You-WIN, N-Power, Tradermoni, among others, Egberamen however counseled the government to work closely with civil society organisations for effective implementation and monitoring of these programmes to guarantee sustainability.
In her remarks, Dr. Naomi Baba Gbefwi, Deputy Co-ordinator of Sunlight City Foundation, urged the Nigerian youth to re-discover themselves and deploy their talents for self-development.
Gbefwi further stressed the need for the youths to be trained and re-trained in various vocations and ventures to overcome poverty.
She also advised the youth to change their mindset, adding that poverty is a thing of the mind.
The high point of the occasion was the presentation of start-up capital, tools and equipment by Push Africa to some beneficiaries who had undergone training in various vocations and skills.