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COVID-19: Stakeholders emphasis need for collaboration to tackle poverty

State Craft Inc, a full-service governance consulting firm recently held a cross-sector roundtable with Sadiya Umar Faruq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and other leaders in the business and development sector in Lagos.

The purpose of the cross-sector roundtable was to align private and public sector priorities, and to coordinate activities of intervention towards alleviating the many problems affecting the poor and vulnerable across the nation.

The roundtable was convened with the aim of rallying stakeholder support to boost efforts of the federal government in addressing the myriad of challenges emanating from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In the welcome address, Adebola Williams, CEO, State Craft Inc., commended the effort of the public and private actors in Nigeria’s fight against hunger. He was also recognized by the minister for his role in mapping COVID-19 food interventions in Nigeria through the Beating Corona Initiative.

The cross-sector roundtable had in attendance Mohammed Yahya, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Nigeria, Abubakar Sulieman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Alero Ayida-Otobo of Project Ark, Onyeka Akumah of Farmcrowdy, Alan Sinfield, CEO of 9 mobile, Bankole Wellington, Joke Bakare, Managing Director of MedPlus, Mariam Temitope Masha, Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Sustainable Development Goals among many others.

The Minister impressed upon guests the importance of “re-imagining our approaches to solving new and older challenges in the wake of the pandemic.” She also assured that the meeting will lead to a “renewed vigour in the ongoing efforts to find better ways to collaborate as we help those most vulnerable in society.”

Mohammed Yahya emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnership in development. He noted that public-private partnership has been instrumental in the projects the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has successfully executed in Nigeria. Bankole ‘Banky’ Wellington who was also present at the roundtable noted that “it is important to identify community leaders when doing interventions in the society” He also stated that his desire is for Nigeria to have a food bank in each community.

Attendees at the roundtable resolved to better align their efforts with those of the federal government of Nigeria towards cushioning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians, especially regarding the increasing number of people at risk from hunger, with inadequate access to health and educational facilities.

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