The Witness, a Nigerian newspaper in digital and print formats, is set to launch a non-governmental organisation, ‘The Witness Newspaper Foundation’, in commemoration of its fourth year anniversary.
The event is billed to hold on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at the Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly Intercontinental Hotel), Victoria Island, Lagos.
A statement on Monday by the managing director of the newspaper, Mr. Julius Akpovire-Enyeh, stated that the Foundation which is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of the newspaper will focus on enhancing the education, health and empowerment of the less-privileged and vulnerable children, youths, widows and the aged in the society.
According to Akpovire-Enyeh, “Today, there are many children and youths who have dropped out of school due to lack of adequate support; there are a lot of less-privileged widows and the aged who are yearning for help.
“As a responsible organisation, we aim to ameliorate the pains of these individuals and in turn contribute to nation building.
“The underprivileged widows and their vulnerable children constitute a significant component of every country’s population. Available statistics show that Nigeria has over eight million disadvantaged widows with over 21 million children. Many are stigmatised and blamed for their husband’s death and displaced from their marital homes.
“The aged constitutes 5.2 per cent of Nigeria’s population and the figure is expected to hit 6 per cent by 2025. But it’s sad that in 61 years of independence from colonial administration, Nigeria is yet to enact a national policy on the care and welfare of older persons.
“The rate at which the elderly are dying in the society as a result of inadequate healthcare and poverty is alarming and embarrassing to the country.
“The Foundation will also tackle poverty and empower less-privileged youths. Although Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil exporter with the largest natural gas reserves on the continent, it was reported by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2019 to have 83 million people living below the nation’s poverty line. Still, unemployment and underemployment are on the increase.”
The chief host of the event is the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, the immediate-past governor of Delta State, is the chairman of the occasion.
Among other expected dignitaries are Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly; Mallam Mele Kyari, group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC); Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, managing director, Ecobank Nigeria Limited; Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director-general/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Adaeze Udensi, executive director, Titan Trust Bank Limited and Dr. Victor Adoji, a former senatorial candidate and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Witness Newspaper was founded in October 2017, with the mission of bringing its readers accurate and reliable information without bias, about happenings within the nation and abroad.