A nonprofit organisation, Eziokwu Ebubechukwu Foundation, EEF, has called on the Federal Government to give assistance to widows and private school teachers in the country to cushion the economic hardship they face as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
Founder of the Foundation, Mr. Ezeukoh Ebubechukwu, made the call during the distribution of palliative funds worth half a million to widows and private school teachers across 12 states in the country, in an outreach tagged “Reaching widows and teachers”.
Mr. Ebubechukwu said the gesture became imperative to support the widows and private school teachers, worst hit by the pandemic.
He added that “the need to support the less-privilege and those who relied on daily earnings for their source of livelihood should be given top priority.
“The government have not done much to offer assistance to the poor and indigent citizens of the country. I would not really blame them considering the overwhelming numbers of people to support.
“So it is important for NGOs like ours to offer palliatives to indigent people as way to complement government efforts.
“A vast majority of the people outside of the formal system are devastated by the harsh economic realities of the pandemic, which have affected their daily source of livelihood and had posed a significant threat to their ability to meet their basic and infrastructure needs.”
Ebubechukwu, who called on the government to give attention to widows and private school teachers, said: “The government should look critically to the plight of widows and teachers.
“They should design an economic policy that favours the poor and vulnerable because a lot of businesses and individuals were negatively affected by the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.”
Speaking on the Foundation’s need to focus on widows and teachers, Ebubechukwu said: “We distributed funds to private school teachers and widows because we believe these categories of people were more affected by the pandemic.
“When things were normal, we knew the hardship faced by widows; the pandemic has further increased their hardship considering that a lot of businesses have been crippled.
“Likewise, schools are yet to open fully. So what is the fate of teachers engaged by private schools?
“At least, it is an open secret that a good number of private schools didn’t pay their teachers since March when schools were first lockdown. Some of them have families to feed, bills to pay, among others.”
The Founder, however, advised the government to focus on creating an enabling environment for business and trade, adding that “this would go a long way to improve the living standard of the citizens.”
He called on well-meaning Nigerians and relevant agencies to support the less-privileged in the society with basic infrastructure, especially given the exigencies of the moment.
Ebubechukwu reiterated EEF commitment to offer continuous support towards eradicating poverty in rural communities in the state.
Recipient of the gesture, one of the widows, Mrs. Virginia Ezeakabekwe, said the EEF support would go a long way in helping the widows provide food for their families.