Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State governor, has given reassurance to the people of the state that his administration intends to take every resident of Lagos along in its development initiatives. “Lagos government intends to take along everybody in the society.”
Sanwo-Olu stated this at the 25th anniversary of the Human Development Initiative (HDI) tagged, ‘Impact 25 Initiatives’ held in Alausa, Ikeja. According to the governor, the administration is implementing projects to ensure everybody feels the impact of the government, hence its readiness to work with organisations like the HDI.
Represented by Abiodun Onayele, the permanent secretary, ministry of establishment, training and pension, Sanwo-Olu said that the Lagos state government is supporting organisations and NGOs working with people with disability (PWD) with yearly subvention. “We will continue to partner with them and urge everybody here to support them”.
Olufunso Owasanoye, the executive director of HDI, said the anniversary is an opportunity for HDI to reiterate its commitment to the welfare and development of the vulnerable in the society just as it continue to engage, both as demand-side actors and supply-side ally, partnering with government at all levels in the Nigerian project to ensure an equitable and just society for all.
Read also: Directors urged to adopt agile leadership style for business optimisation
“As we celebrate 25 years in service to humanity, with reflection and reminiscences of the past 25 years in the development space, it is obvious that much has been done; but much more needs to be done to attain the ideal of a society with citizens devoid of economic and social vulnerabilities seeing that our nation is yet bedeviled by an avalanche of challenges requiring concerted efforts of all and sundry,” Owasanoye said.
According to her, HDI envisions a society of empowered humans, devoid of social and economic vulnerabilities. She said that the mission is to strengthen vulnerable humans in society and build total human capacity through social development programmes that advance education for all and initiatives that promote equity, justice, opportunities, transparency, accountability and civic participation in governance.
“Our journey in the development space started under the regime of late General Sanni Abacha in 1996 when the vision dawned on our noble founders in the person of Professor Bolaji O. Owasanoye and Dr. Tunde Ahonsi. These two icons had set out during the then military regime, to alleviate the pains of helpless widows who were not only poor, but also hapless being victims of circumstances. It was in the bid to address these concerns and a myriad of other social developmental issues that HDI was conceived in 1996,” she said.
Kayode Soremekun, former vice-chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, in a goodwill message challenged the audience to engage in civic activities. “We can also support them concretely by being advocates of a better Nigeria”.
Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, vice-chancellor, University of Lagos, in a goodwill message said that the core of HDI was drawn from the University of Lagos community. According to him, HDI has given the university an opportunity for partnerships, and disclosed that six students of the university benefited from the scholarship. “We are proud to associate with you,” said Ogundipe, who was represented by Ayodele Victoria Atsenuwa, deputy vice-chancellor, development services.
Some of the 25 Impact Projects includes 25 tertiary education scholarship for students with disabilities; 25 hearing aid for children with hearing impairment in selected inclusive schools; 25 wheelchairs for physically challenged pupils/students; 25 chairs and five tables for early childhood care development education (ECCDE) for Onike Baptist Girls’ Primary School, Onike among others.