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By Dipo Olowookere

The former Governor of Delta State, Mr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, congratulated the management of The Witness newspaper run by Mr. Julius Akpovire Enyeh for judging it suitable to take care of the welfare of widows, children vulnerable and elderly in society.

Speaking at the inauguration of The Witness Newspaper Foundation on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at the prestigious Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly Intercontinental Hotel), Victoria Island, Lagos, Mr. Uduaghan said developing human capital is an aspect that most people and the government fail to take this into account. be careful because of some factors.

While welcoming the initiative, he urged more private organizations to join the fray to support government at all levels to empower vulnerable people in society.

He stressed that the majority of crises seen in society are ramifications of the neglect of the HDI by governments and institutions.

“When a governor builds a road, there is a grand commissioning ceremony. But there is one aspect that we do not pay attention to, and that is the development of human capital. We don’t take it seriously. And any governor who pays attention to this area doesn’t seem to be working.

“Every government must take the development of human capital seriously. This is why we must salute this foundation because it aggregated major axes of the HDI by seeking to promote widows, vulnerable children and the elderly.

“Look at the suffering elderly in society, you sometimes ask, what about their children? Or was it because they didn’t pay attention to their children when they were young?

“Even though some of them did, we also have irresponsible children who grow up to be irresponsible adults. We have to discourage people from abandoning their parents, ”said the former governor, who was the chairman of the event.

Sounding the alarm on the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, which he estimated at over 13 million, Mr. Uduaghan recalled his administration’s efforts to ease the financial burden of school children on parents by introducing free education. at the primary and secondary levels.

In his address, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by Mr. Olumide Shogunle, welcomed the initiative, as he promised that the State was ready for a partnership with its various skills acquisition centers and agencies.

In addition, the Speaker of the Lagos State Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by Mr. David Setonji, Chairman of the Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, assured that the legislature would soon institute a private member’s bill on the elderly, as it called for support for widows and vulnerable children.

In his goodwill message, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, who was represented by the Bank’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ms. Ibukun Oyedeji, congratulated the management of the newspaper while pledging his support to the initiative.

In his speech, the chief executive of The Witness Newspaper, Mr. Enyeh, said the foundation was established to commemorate the newspaper’s fourth anniversary as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to support vulnerable people.

“The sole purpose of this foundation is to give back to our society by finding ways to alleviate the suffering of widows, vulnerable children and our neglected elderly fathers and mothers.

“The statistics available regarding the number of vulnerable children, women and the elderly are alarming. But we have to start from somewhere and take one step at a time, ”he said.

According to him, in the first year of operation, the non-governmental organization will help at least 10,000 widows, vulnerable children and the elderly in the fields of education, empowerment and improved health.

Calling for support from individuals, public and private sectors, among others, he affirmed the foundation’s commitment to be transparent and accountable, stressing that its books will be open to the public for regular updates.

Some of the other notable personalities present at the event were Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Dr Adaeze Udensi, Executive Director, Titan Trust Bank; Pastor and Pastor (Mrs.) Mary Olayinka of the Watchtower Christian Assembly; Comrade Ayodele Adewale, former chairman of the Amuwo Odofin local government area; Dr Victor Adoji, former candidate for governor in Kogi State; Mr. Ramon Nasir, Group Head, Media Relations, United Bank for Africa (UBA); Mr. Abdul Imoyo; Group Leader, Media Relations, Access Bank Plc; Mr. Jide Sipe, Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Ecobank; Mr. Austin Osokpor, Head of Media Relations, Ecobank; Mr. Ibukun Coker, Head of Strategy and Business Planning, Unity Bank Plc; Mr. Matthew Obiazikwor, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Unity Bank Plc; Mr. Ayodele Aminu, Managing Director of the New Telegraph Newspaper, among others.

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