NEWS

    Friday, 10 August 2018 09:55

    Promoting Empowerment for Human Capital Development

    By: Peter Owinje; Sunlight City Foundation; Media and Publicity Director.   High rate of poverty in any given nation is a notable sign of underdevelopment or better still a characteristic of a developing nation. Poverty is one of the major factors against social development in any nation. “Any development agenda of a poor nation without given priority to human capital development is an agenda without focus” (Peter Owinje 2018). There is no doubt that many Nigerians are living in extreme poverty. For instance in 2016, The National Bureau of Statistics revealed that not less than 112 million Nigerians were living below poverty line. This means they are living below one dollar per day. Therefore, empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment is the beginning of a meaningful life and social development of citizens of a nation. Promoting meaningful empowerment of people from education and health to economic and their social lives are ways among others to improve the quality of the citizens’ lives. My observation reveals that the importance of empowerment for human development that is critical to poverty eradication in our communities is undoubtedly misunderstood by some people, mostly the politicians. This explains why some politicians in Nigeria give a bag of rice, money, motorcycle among others as a means of empowerment to unemployed Nigerians. This kind of gesture is not empowerment that can reduce poverty drastically in our communities rather it is a calculated attempt to seek support during election. The Need for Viable Empowerment I believe meaningful empowerment must be a long term solution to poverty, in Nigeria today it is difficult for people living in abject poverty to live above it, many people in some cities in Nigeria are homeless, while many others have no job, indeed, poverty is a major challenge facing many Nigerians.  More so, abject poverty may cause some people to commit crimes, such as robbery, militancy, kidnapping to mention but a few.  Also, poverty may cause the poor to engage in corruption, although, in Nigeria this may be fought to some certain extent, why? It’s because several cases in Nigeria show that the rich can also be highly corrupt; they can steal public funds in millions. Truly speaking, one of the major causes of poverty in Nigeria is inadequate jobs for the teeming youths; thousands of Nigerian youths graduate every year without available jobs for them to do. This as a result has led to an increase in the poverty levels in Nigeria. Therefore, the need for a critical solution to unemployment and poverty at large becomes inevitable. “Bottom Up Project Strategy” A Viable Solution to Poverty However, to reduce poverty to a very large extent, there should be a viable empowerment like “Bottom up project Strategy” a grant that will give each individual Nigerian a privilege to embark on a business that has to do with production that will accommodate 5 to 10 staff. This is a reasonable and meaningful empowerment that can fight poverty to the barest minimum in our different communities. This kind of empowerment is quite different from the common empowerment we do see in our societies where graduate or unemployed youths are given motor cycle or tricycle as a means of livelihood. This explains why we have many commercial tricycle and “okada” riders in our communities. My simple question is how many people will commercial tricycle or “okada” riders employ in the business? The answer is none; this explains why this kind of empowerment cannot reduce poverty to the barest minimum. So, helping the poor or masses to live above poverty is a direct focus of Social Exchange Market through “Bottom up project” programme; A cause that the Sunlight City Foundation is championing the cause of mobilizing thousands for this empowerment (grants). The grants are to be disbursed by Social Exchange Market, located at no 12 Dan Suleiman Street, Tanko, Abuja.    
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