Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday night said the government is far from touching the lives of many who need help in the country.
Osinbajo said in Lagos at the unveiling of Airtel Touching Lives Season 5 that though some Nigerians had benefited from the social investment programmes of the government, yet the government was ” still very far from touching the majority of those who need help”.
He commended Airtel for its “wonderful acts of giving and caring,” saying, “Truly what separates humankind from all other creatures is the capacity for kindness.
“So, I want to thank Segun (Ogunsanya) and his team at Airtel for touching so many lives over the past five years. Listening to each story of the lives that have been touched this evening must remind us of the many others who need our help, our comfort and our kindness. The poor and the vulnerable will always need a voice.”
Osinbajo recalled that in 2014, he, Mr Wale Edun and Prof. Pat Utomi met to write portions of the manifesto for the All Progressives Congress.
He said they all agreed that a fundamental aspect of the party’s plans must be to create a social safety net for the people of the country.
The Vice President said, “We are feeding about 9.5 million children in 34 states now across Nigeria in all public schools. We are giving monthly cash to about a million households as part of our conditional cash transfer scheme.
“We have also engaged about 500,000 young men and women who had been unemployed for different periods of time under our N-Power Programme. But we are still very far from touching the majority of those who need help. It is clear that to do so, we need far more resources – to put far more resources behind that programme.”
He added, “This is why the work of socially-conscious organisations like Airtel is so vital – bridging the huge gap between what government can do and what is left to be done. So, as you celebrate the fifth year of this programme, we congratulate you and pray for all members of the Airtel team and their families that as you have shown such great kindness to so many, you will always find help and kindness.”