Oxfam, society organisations seek concerted efforts to tackle inequality
Piqued by the alarming rate of equality in Nigeria, Oxfam, an international non-governmental organization, committed to creating a world without poverty and its local partners have called for conceited efforts to tackle the scourge.
Speaking after a two- day joint partners meeting in Lagos, Coordinator, Private and Public Sector Transparency and Accountability for Oxfam, Celestine Odo, said people are well capable of building a livelihood without poverty on their own, once given the chance to do so.
Odo, who expressed worries over the widening gap between the poor and the rich stressed that poverty and inequality in Nigeria can be connected to the pressure on limited resources.
According to him, misallocation and misappropriation of limited resources has made the problem bigger, hence the need for such
strategic campaigns like Right to Food and Financing for Development aimed at bridging the inequality gap.
He stressed that Oxfam have a conviction that people are well capable of building a livelihood without poverty on their own, once
given the chance to do so.
Odo said that was why the organisation supports local projects in Nigeria, lobby governments and companies to take into account the interests of the poorest people, citizens mobilization and enlightenment, networking and alliance building, capacity building for the civil society and the government.
He said the meeting held in collaboration with BudgIt Information Technology Network Lagos, was aimed at discussing the
sundry options and possibilities to tackling inequalities by achieving food for all and financing for development.
The Oxfam’s global inequality report released at the beginning of 2017, insisted, a world without inequality is possible ,if politicians stop obsessing with GDP , and focus on delivering for
all citizens and not just a wealthy few.
“Deliberate policy interventions and political commitments along with space and support for civil society and citizens to challenge unfair
systems that do not represent their interests is an essential starting point”, the group noted.
Odo therefore called for conceited efforts to tackle the clashes between farmers and herders and review of the land use act to allow for easier access to land in order to guarantee food security since majority of the Nigeria population are farmers.
He noted that the programme has led to a change to budget process in Nigeria.
According to him, there is an improvement from 1.8 percent in 2017 to 2.8 percent in 2018 budget proposal, stressing that it was going closer to the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, which recommended 10 percent national budget allocation to agriculture development.
The theme for the programme is: “Even it up: Tackling inequality in Nigeria through analysis and advocacy, with Right To Food (R2F) and Financing for Development (F4D)’ being chief in the discussion.
Speaking further on the Right To Food (R2F) Bill, Mrs. Abiola Bayode of the Farm and Infrastructure Foundation ( FIF ) said, “It is a human right bill which protects people from hunger.
According to her, “the challenge is that the government sees food as a need and not a human right. We want to see that the right to food is explicitly stated in chapter four (4) of the Nigerian constitution; this will make the government more accountable on food security in Nigeria.
“It is therefore not about distributing food free of charge to all Nigerians, but a necessity to protect the vulnerable people by creating an enabling environment.”
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