The Ogun state government has urged the corporate organisations and wealthy individuals in the country to continue giving succour to Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), individuals and other less privileged organisations, so as to give back to the indigents in the society.
The State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-govermental Affairs, Mrs Olufemi Ilori-Oduntan stated this while declaring open the 11th annual charity lecture of the Less Privileged Children Encourage Initiative (EI), themed “Access to Justice: The Dilemma of the Less Privileged and the Way Out”, held at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
She stressed the need to support the humanitarian project of the NGO which had distributed school uniforms, sandals, school bags, writing materials, free mid-day meals, free textbooks and provided free medicare to over Thirty Five Thousand (35, 000) less privileged children in different parts of Nigeria including Ogun State.
Ilori-Oduntan showered encomium on EI for complimenting government efforts at supporting the less privileged people for over 20 years despite the economic challenges in the country
“I am highly impressed with this initiative and I sincerely commend the Less Privileged Children Encouragement Initiative (EI) for its steadfastness, drive, doggedness, consistency and persistency through the years in its service to humanity regardless of age, race, gender, culture, religion or current life situation”
“Permit me to specially thank and appreciate Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi and his very supportive wife, Dr. Bukunola Akinlesi for birthing this initiative and keeping this NGO going despite myriad of challenges over the past twenty (20) years”, Ilori-Oduntan said.
She also expressed her readiness to personally work closely with EI in its health outreach project in supporting sickle cell patients in various communities.
“Your work in the area of donation of drugs every first Friday of the month to the Sickle Cell Warriors Club in the last 20 years is a testament to the resolve of EI to better the lives of the less privileged. I am also passionately involved in providing succour to children living with sickle cell and will be happy to join hands with EI in reaching out to these children.
She expressed confidence in the capacity of EI as NGO with over 450 volunteers in sustaining its humanitarian services to Nigerians for a better society.
She said Prince Dapo Abiodun’s administration in the past three years under the Federal Government’s social investment programme being coordinated by her ministry ensures provision of free meals to 178,128 pupils in schools while 3,505 cooks were engaged in the Home Grown School Feeding programme
According to her, “9,171 people have benefitted in the first phase of the Household Upliftment Programme and 3,853 people have benefitted in the first stage of registration of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP,) while the Ogun State Emergency Management Agency (OGSEMA) also provides relief materials to victims who were affected by flood, fire and windstorm amongst social investment programmes by the State Government.
Mrs. Oluyemi Orija, a thorough-bred legal professional and founder of Headfort Foundation delivering the 11th charity lecture of EI, stressed the need for citizens to have equal access to the legal system in Nigeria.
Orija whose foundation has in the past four years provided free legal services to 416 innocent inmates in various correctional facilities, asked Nigerians to always make good use of offices of Legal Aid Council across the 36 States in the country, to seek legal redress in court
She revealed that her foundation had sensitized over 3,000 persons on their fundamental human rights across the country, she however however solicited for volunteers, partners and fund to provide free legal services to more less privileged in the society.
Co-founder of EI, Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi speaking on the sideline of the event, expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded so far in the past 22years of impacting on the lives of less privileged across States in Nigeria.
He added that the lecture had in the past eleven years assisted greatly in capacity building of people running NGOs, particularly on how to put in place solid structure to attract the needed fund for sustainance of their various humanitarian services in the society
“Several people get inspired after attending this lecture, through this training we’ve been able to inspire many people who are involved in humanitarian services, assisting them on how to set up structures for their NGOs “, Akinlesi stated.
He however stressed the need for more NGOs to compliment the efforts of the government at providing support for those in need as no government can do it all.
Akinlesi enjoined those running NGOs to be trustworthy in order to attract the needed support from wealthy individuals and corporate organizations for the people.