By Chioma Obinna
In line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, to end extreme poverty by 2030, Global Citizen, is working with the Nigerian private sector to harness resources to achieve the objective of ending poverty.
Global Citizen is a global movement for citizen-led actions to eradicate poverty and improve human living conditions.
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Speaking during a ‘Global Goal Live: Nigeria Policy Forum’ in Lagos, Co-founder, Global Citizen, Mr. Michael Sheldrick, explained that the movement has created millions of positive citizens’ actions across the world as part of efforts to hold leaders accountable in the fight against hunger and poverty.
Sheldrick said despite the enormous wealth in the world, poverty is increasing in certain regions of the world especially in Africa where Nigeria as a country is projected to host 25 percent of the world extremely poor people in the next 15 years if urgent actions are not taken.
Also speaking, the Chairman Global Citizen Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo, said that the private sector and civil society can no longer stand aloof from addressing issues of poverty in Nigeria because failure to address extreme poverty in Nigeria will put everyone at risk.
“Nigeria is already dubbed the poverty capital of the world and that is very worrisome statistics we must begin to work to address as a people. We cannot just stand by and do nothing.”
Vice-Chairman of Global Citizen Nigeria, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede while giving the overview of the Global Citizen’s Nigeria Policy intervention on the healthcare delivery system said out of the 30,000 Primary Healthcare Centres in the country, less than 3000 are functioning well.
He posited that Universal Healthcare cannot be achieved without a robust Primary Healthcare system as the bedrock.
“It is impossible for the Nigerian government on its own to meet the SDGs. The private sector and the civil society must join the efforts. Government in Nigeria only controls 10 percent of the entire GDP while the private sector controls 90 percent. This shows the strength of the private sector in our country. The private sector must work with the government to deliver the SDGs.”
He pledged to build a world-class Primary Healthcare Centre in each of the 774 Local Governments in Nigeria and called on other wealthy Nigerians to commit to different initiatives that would help the country to meet other objectives of the SDGs by 2030.
In Lagos on September 26, 2020, Global Citizen will stage a Global Goal Live Concert in with world-class musical artistes at the Tafawa Balewa Square where over 40,000 Nigerians are expected to attend. Tickets to the concert according to Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede cannot be purchased and it will not be free.
He said of the concert, “What it means is that to qualify for a ticket to the concert, Nigerians – old and young are expected to carry out some community and citizen-led actions towards eradicating poverty and achieving any of the Sustainable Development Goals. Six months to September next year, that will be March 2020, Global Citizen will announce the mechanics for participation at the Concert and we will start full blast publicity and awareness. It is all about raising over voices as citizens and calling on our governments to do more to end poverty.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire hinted about the Federal Government’s plan to eradicate poverty in the country.
“We are working with the state and local governments because that is where the people are. We are happy to collaborate and work with Global Citizen eradicate poverty in our country. I want to also commend Mr. Folawiyo and Aig-Imoukhuede for leading the private sector efforts. It is only when we the public and private sectors work together we can solve the problem of poverty of our people.”