Uduaghan Lauds The Witness Newspaper Foundation’s Human Capital Development Drive

October 29, 2021
The Witness Newspaper Foundation

By Dipo Olowookere

The former Governor of Delta State, Mr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has commended the management of The Witness Newspaper led by Mr Julius Akpovire Enyeh for deeming it fit to care for the wellbeing of widows, vulnerable children and the aged in society.

Speaking at the unveiling of The Witness Newspaper Foundation on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at the prestigious Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly Intercontinental Hotel), Victoria Island, Lagos, Mr Uduaghan said human capital development was one aspect most people and the government fail to pay attention to because of some factors.

While commending the initiative, he urged more private organisations to join the fray in supporting government at all levels to empower the vulnerable in society.

He stressed that the majority of the crises seen in society are offshoots of the neglect of HDI by governments and institutions.

“When a governor builds a road, there is a huge ceremony for commissioning. But there is an aspect we do not pay attention to, that is human capital development. We don’t take it seriously. And any governor that pays attention to that area doesn’t seem like he is working.

“Every government must take human capital development seriously. This is why we must commend this foundation because it has aggregated major areas of HDI by seeking to enhance the widows, vulnerable children and the aged.

“Look at the suffering aged in the society, sometimes you ask, what about their children? Or was it that they didn’t pay attention to their children when they were young?

“Even though some of them did, we also have irresponsible children becoming irresponsible adults. We must discourage people from abandoning their parents,” the former Governor, who was the chairman of the occasion, stated.

Raising the alarm on the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, which he pegged at over 13 million, Mr Uduaghan recounted the efforts of his administration to ensure the easing of the financial burden of school children on the parents by introducing free education at both primary and secondary school levels.

In his address, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mr Olumide Shogunle, commended the initiative, just as he promised the state’s readiness for partnership with its different skills acquisition centres and agencies.

Also, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by Mr David Setonji, Chairman, Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, assured that the legislature would soon institute a private member bill on the aged, just as he urged support for widows and vulnerable children.

In his goodwill message, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, who was represented by the bank’s chief financial officer (CFO), Mrs Ibukun Oyedeji, congratulated the management of the news outlet, just as he promised support for the initiative.

In his speech, the MD of The Witness Newspaper, Mr Enyeh, said the foundation was established to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the newspaper as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to support the vulnerable.

“The sole aim of this foundation is giving back to our society by finding ways to ameliorate the suffering of widows, vulnerable children, and our neglected aged fathers and mothers.

“The statistics out there concerning the number of vulnerable children, women and the aged are alarming. But we have to start from somewhere and take one step at a time,” he said.

According to him, in the first year of operation, the non-government organisation will assist at least 10,000 widows, vulnerable children, and aged in the areas of education, empowerment and health improvements.

Urging for support from individuals, public and private sectors, among others, he affirmed the commitment of the foundation to be transparent and accountable, stressing that its books will be open to the public for regular updates.

Some of the other notable personalities present at the event were Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Dr Adaeze Udensi, Executive Director, Titan Trust Bank; Pastor and Pastor (Mrs) Mary Olayinka of the Watchtower Christian Assembly; Comrade Ayodele Adewale, former chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area; Dr Victor Adoji, former governorship aspirant in Kogi State; Mr Ramon Nasir, Group Head, Media Relations, United Bank for Africa (UBA); Mr Abdul Imoyo; Group Head, Media Relations, Access Bank Plc; Mr Jide Sipe, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Ecobank; Mr Austin Osokpor, Head, Media Relations, Ecobank; Mr Ibukun Coker, Head of Strategy & Corporate Planning, Unity Bank Plc; Mr Matthew Obiazikwor, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Unity Bank Plc; Mr Ayodele Aminu, Managing Director of New Telegraph Newspaper, among others.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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