• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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A renewed hope? Let the poor breathe

A renewed hope? Let the poor breathe

In a nation that prides itself on being the “Giant of Africa,” there exists a deep-seated disparity that continues to suffocate the most vulnerable in society – the poor. As Nigeria finds itself under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the plight of the impoverished masses seems to be caught in a never-ending struggle to breathe. The aspirations for progress, equality, and social justice that have long eluded the marginalized sections of society are in dire need of attention and action.

Since assuming office, President Tinubu’s government has promised various economic reforms and policies to uplift the nation. However, the reality on the ground presents a stark contrast. The poor have continued to endure most of the country’s economic challenges, facing limited access to education, healthcare, and opportunities for advancement. Rising inflation rates, unemployment, and inadequate social welfare programs have further marginalized vulnerable communities, pushing them deeper into poverty.

One of the primary challenges facing the poor is the lack of access to quality education. Without adequate educational opportunities, the cycle of poverty stays unbroken, trapping generations within the same dire circumstances. President Tinubu’s administration must prioritize education reform and commit to allocating sufficient resources to improve the educational infrastructure, ensure teacher training, and make education accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status.

The state of healthcare in Nigeria is another pressing issue. Basic medical services, including access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and essential medicines, remain out of reach for millions of Nigerians. The poor are particularly vulnerable to illnesses and suffer disproportionately due to inadequate healthcare facilities. It is the responsibility of President Tinubu’s government to invest in the healthcare system, strengthen public hospitals, and expand health coverage to provide relief to those struggling for survival.

Furthermore, the rural-urban divide exacerbates the poverty crisis. Rural communities often lack basic amenities, including reliable electricity, access to credit, and job opportunities. It is essential for President Tinubu’s administration to implement policies that bridge this gap and empower rural areas by promoting agricultural development, creating rural industries, and investing in infrastructure projects that connect these communities to the larger economy.

The issue of corruption cannot be overlooked in the fight to alleviate poverty. Rampant corruption not only drains the nation’s resources but also perpetuates income inequality. President Tinubu must lead by example and demonstrate a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, implementing stringent measures to hold corrupt individuals accountable, regardless of their social or political standing. He should start by probing into the corrupt practices of the previous administration and where necessary restore any stolen resources.

To truly let the poor, breathe, President Tinubu must embrace a comprehensive social safety net that protects the most vulnerable in times of economic hardships. The implementation of well-targeted social welfare programs can provide a lifeline for those in need and create a more equitable society.

Inclusivity and representation are also crucial in driving change. President Tinubu’s government must ensure that the voices of the poor are heard in policymaking processes. Engaging with grassroots organizations, civil society, and community leaders can foster a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the marginalized and aid in formulating effective solutions.

Read also: ‘Let the poor breathe’: Utomi’s criticism misplaced, senate says

The Nigerian people have shown resilience in the face of adversity, and they deserve a leader who prioritizes their welfare. President Tinubu has an opportunity to leave a legacy by championing the cause of the poor and creating a more inclusive society. Let us hope that under his leadership, the nation can take significant strides toward a more equitable and prosperous Nigeria, where every citizen can breathe freely and fulfil their potential.

President Tinubu’s administration should prioritize job creation and entrepreneurship. Sustainable economic growth can lift people out of poverty and provide them with the means to support themselves and their families. By encouraging investment in industries, promoting small businesses, and supporting vocational training programs, the government can lay the foundation for a more prosperous future.

In conclusion, the situation of the poor in Nigeria demands urgent attention and action. As President Bola Ahmed Tinubu leads the nation, he has the opportunity to enact meaningful reforms that will allow the impoverished masses to breathe freely, unburdened by the chains of poverty. It is time to prioritize the well-being of all Nigerians and build a nation where every citizen can dream and aspire to a brighter future.

Afeniforo is a sustainable development practitioner, researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the IUSS Pavia, Italy.