By Sebastine Obasi
In line with their long term goal of ending hunger and alleviating poverty across the nation, employees of Oando, popularly known as the #HumansOfOando, through The Aggregator Platform (TAP), has raised over N25 million to feed more than 24,000 Lagosians across 16 of the most deprived communities over a one month period.
The employees of Oando identified that despite the financial contributions and efforts made by the public and private sector as well as Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) in feeding the less privileged, there is still a huge gap between those who are in dire need and those who are eventually reached and fed. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it glaringly obvious to all that the poverty crisis cannot be solved by the government alone.
Despite the social palliative measures being implemented by the government, food relief materials being provided by NGOs and financial contributions from private sector players it still doesn’t seem to be enough. For the employees of Oando, COVID-19 brought home the realisation that every single individual who has the means, must play an active role in alleviating poverty in Nigeria.
Through TAP the #HumansOfOando aim to rally well-meaning individuals both locally and internationally as well as more corporate bodies to make this a nationwide cause. TAP’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is that it is a single point of coordination for both potential donors and NGOs to realise the desired impact of reaching millions of Nigerians who are in desperate need of feeding. The ultimate success of TAP will be a combination of donations and a database of credible NGOs to successfully implement feeding programmes in marginalised communities.
Commending TAP during a food disbursement drive, Mrs. Okoro, the Lagos Coordinator of Child Protection Network(CPN) said;“The people are hungry so feeding them gives us joy and we are very grateful to the employees of Oando for supporting us. At CPN, we’ve been feeding people from the onset of the lockdown. We’ve been going to different places, soliciting for donations for food for the people. We started with cooked food which we distributed to people in Oshodi, Ojuelegba, Ibeju-Lekki, Eti-Osa, Apapa, Somolu, Alimosho. So, we are grateful to the #HumansOfOando for collaborating with us to enable us serve even more people.”
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, a member of one of the impacted communities, Edatomola Arowojolu, expressed his appreciation on behalf of his community to the employees of Oando, the TAP platform, those who had donated and CPN for the disbursement of food, for their kind gesture to the residents and lauded the impact of the exercise, which according to him, was a huge success.
Mrs. Adekemi Adeyeye, Executive Director, Finance and Administration for Huffped thanked TAP for the donations which has enabled them feed over 400 people in the Majiudn-Awori community, Ikorodu, Lagos .A benefactor of the food donation in Majidun-Awori community, Agbado Oluwatosin, also thanked TAP and Huffped on behalf of nursing mothers and pregnant women in the community, for coming to their aid.
Through TAP the #HumansOfOando have a fundraising target of N2.7 billion as the first phase of the deployment with an initial focus of feeding over 2 million individuals resident in Lagos; and this will very quickly be ramped up to all of Lagos and eventually the whole of country.
Explaining the dynamics of TAP in an interview with CNN’s Julia Chatterly, Dr. Ainojie Irune, Chief Operating Officer, Oando Energy Resources said; “The TAP platform allows donors to come onboard and identify which communities they want to help and open up the entire food needs space so that together we can close that gap. We are encouraging people to partner and donate so we can disperse the funds and through our implementing partners provide food to those that really need it.”