Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, distributed cheques worth millions of naira to financially support 50 indigent residents of Lagos State who are suffering from chronic illnesses, varying degrees of disasters and loss of jobs and businesses.
At the third edition of his interactive programme with indigent residents, tagged “Sanwo-Olu Listens”, organised by the Office of Civic Engagement, the governor while presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries of the initiative, said the government had a duty to give special attention to the needs of people with special challenges, either as result of physical disability or difficult economic situation that have eroded their capacity to provide for their basic needs.
He said the programme was initiated as a platform to provide long-term financial assistance to vulnerable citizens, and one of several social intervention programmes being implemented by his administration to bring relief to residents with adverse socio-economic conditions.
“We are gathered here to support another set of beneficiaries who are mostly operatives of the informal sector such as artisans, commercial vehicle drivers, mechanics, tailors, barbers and many others, who live on daily earnings and are experiencing severe economic challenges.
“As a government, we feel obliged to render this financial assistance to a wide-range of residents to aid their inclusion into the socio-economic fabric of the society, despite their vulnerability. We will continue to show love, empathy and identify with the plight of the less privileged.
“Through this support, we are raising the capacity of beneficiaries to earn decent living and also address some other challenges they might be experiencing,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu, however, implored the beneficiaries to expend the funds judiciously for the purpose it was given, while encouraging more well-meaning individuals and corporate organisations to toe this path. To him, caring for the less privileged within the society should be a collective responsibility.
The Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said the programme was initiatied to support struggling individuals in Lagos State to cushion the negative economic effects, as a lot of people need financial assistance to solve diverse number of challenges.
Adebowale explained that the governor approved the funds to the 50 beneficiaries, to cater for their chronic health challenges and other needs as they lack financial power to take care of themselves.