October 3, 2023

UK-based lawyer to FG: Be proactive in alleviating poverty


By Dickson Omobola

A New York-based lawyer and chartered accountant, Owolabi Salis, has urged the Federal Government to be proactive in alleviating hardship in the country.

Salis said the hardship, occasioned by fuel subsidy removal, can be addressed through a grassroots governance structure.

The legal practitioner, in a statement, called for the continuous distribution of palliatives, noting that endemic poverty was rife in the nation.

His words: “There is no doubt that the government needs to be proactive in addressing the misery in which millions of Nigerians have fallen in recent times. The presidency should set up a grassroots governance system like ‘Presidency Direct’ by recognising the circle of relationships at the wards. We have about 9000 wards.

“What stops the government from throwing food and drugs stamps of 1,000,000 to the wards weekly? That is just N9 billion out of the billions saved from subsidies.

“The money is strictly for food and drugs. Instead of cash, it can also be in the form of food stamps. The money can also be paid to food suppliers to supply food to the wards. Since the removal of the subsidy, I have personally given over 1,000 people a minimum of N50,000 to resolve hunger and health problems.

“I am sure many philanthropists are doing the same. People are dying of hunger. Let us imagine many elderly people in the grassroots who are poor and have no family. Have they even thought about those children without families who wake up daily to hunger? It is pathetic. We have to think of them and make provisions for them. The government in any country must defend the people’s interest and the Tinubu’s administration cannot afford to fail in this regard. The administration must ensure that the poor not only breathe but breathe well.

“The administration is equally advised to prevail on universities that have increased fees astronomically to back down in the interest of the poor.”