By Ebriku John Friday, Abuja
The Federal Government has been advised to include Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs, in policy and programme implementation for effective and positive impact on the citizenry.
The Founder of Voice of Less Privileged Organisation, VOLPO, Mrs Ego-Queen Ezuma, gave the advice when assessing various social programmes of empowerment for women and youth in order to cushion effects of recession in the country.
Ezuma who acknowledged government’s effort to rescue indigent Nigerians from the shackles of poverty said the grassroots have large chunk of poor people in the country, and for these programmes to really alleviate the plight of the people needs to penetrate the grassroots for greater success.
She further stated that when NGOs are engaged the programmes will get to the targeted population since they know the people that are really in need of government intervention.
She said, “The social intervention programmes of the Federal Government deserve commendation and we can see some of them impacting the life of Nigerians, like the N-Power programme for unemployed graduates, which thousands are currently benefiting from, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, which is a laudable initiative meant to encourage the development of Small and medium scale enterprises, and others.
“I will advise the government to include and engage nongovernmental organisations to effectively assist in implementing these social and poverty intervention programme.
“Like we in Voice of Less Privileged Organisation, VOLPO, has over six years been into humanitarian services adding value to the lives of widows, widowers, orphans, indigent parents, by training them on establishing businesses that would help them to be self reliant after acquiring skills, we also give scholarship to students and pupils, build houses for some widows, even we pay their rent, we provide clothing, foodstuff for them, and other interventions.
“We have their data and know where the real poor lives and how to reach them. The government is spending heavily on social programmes and deserves positive results and that would be by carrying responsible and serious minded NGOs, and the impact would be great. Most of these programmes by the government need holistic enlightenment and sensitisation for people to understand and key into the programme for their benefit and they would also appreciate the effort of the government.”
Meanwhile, she called on state and local governments to show seriousness in programmes that alleviate sufferings of the grassroots people in order for them to benefit from federal government’s intervention programmes in growing and developing the rural economy by keying into the already existing programmes and policies.
“The state and local government can do things that would carry the people along by taking the programme to the grassroots, and we also want the people to support government programmes and policies.
“The people should also get involved and not allow few people hijack and take it to their families and friends and claim they have reached out to the people at the grassroots”, she stated.