The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, brought smiles on the faces of yet another group of vulnerable Lagosians as he presented cheques to beneficiaries at the 2nd edition of ‘Sanwo-Olu Listens’ initiative.
The scheme, which was designed to provide long-term financial assistance to vulnerable citizens in the State, is one of several social intervention programmes being implemented by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration to bring relief to residents with adverse socio-economic conditions.
Speaking during the programme, held at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, in strict compliance with all safety protocols, Governor Sanwo-Olu, affirmed that he would not shy away from making lives of the citizens of Lagos State better, adding that governance goes beyond providing security of lives and property for the citizens but ensuring the daily upkeep and welfare of the citizens.
“I am really delighted to be at this event and listened to some of the beneficiaries as they tabled their priorities. This is what government entails. Not only for the security of lives and property. We know you would face health challenges, house challenges, children school fees, etc. We intend to do our best to support and give succour to the vulnerable”, Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor reassured Lagosians that the government will always listen to the voice of the people, especially the less privileged, stressing that the programme was planned to bring hope and help to the downtrodden in view of the fact that governance is beyond the provision of basic infrastructure, but also about empowering and meeting the needs of the people.
“All our agencies of government are committed to providing succour to the citizens. For instance, in the last 600 days, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), has graduated thousands of Lagosians in all types of skills training, just as others such as Ministries of Wealth Creation and Employment, Agriculture, Youth and Social Development, Office of Civic Engagement and Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), among others, are doing”, he noted.
Earlier, the Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, commended Mr. Governor for the laudable initiative geared towards supporting vulnerable residents, as well as cushioning the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other unforeseen situations on struggling individuals.
According to her, “It is a basic fact that a lot of people need financial assistance to solve diverse number of challenges ranging from chronic ailments to loss of jobs and businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the destruction that followed the #EndSARS protest. The Office has continued to screen and shortlist applications and nominations received from various platforms according to the degree and nature of their financial challenges, without bias”.
While emphasising that the process of selecting the beneficiaries were open and transparent, Adebowale averred that the first edition recipients of the initiative were effectively monitored and it was discovered that the funds received were judiciously expended, thus encouraging the Office to seek approval for the second edition which Mr. Governor granted.
“It gladdens my heart to report here that 50 indigent Lagosians, who were beneficiaries of the first phase of the programme held on Tuesday 11th August, 2020, did well with the money received. The monitoring team from the Office of Civic Engagement went round the beneficiaries to ensure that the money given to them by the Governor. Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was used for the purpose it was meant for”.
“Based on the impact assessment of the financial assistance on the socio-economic life of beneficiaries and with the testimonies that greeted the first phase of the initiative, Mr. Governor has graciously approved the extension of the gesture to another set of 50 vulnerable beneficiaries and those whose sources of livelihood had been affected by the lockdown and destructions occasioned by the #EndSARS protest as well as those with chronic health challenges but lack the financial power to take care of themselves”, she disclosed.
50 financially deprived Lagosians, comprising of physically challenged persons, the sick, widows and parents of sick children were amongst the beneficiaries of the second edition of the initiative.