COVID-19 worsened Nigeria’s poor economy – Olanipekun
A frontline legal practitioner, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has described the COVID-19 pandemic as responsible for the most ravaging global economic recession in decades, saying it has aggravated the poor economic situations of the unemployed youth, aged and widows in the country.
Olanipekun, who empowered unemployed youth, aged and widows in Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State, with N8 million, said the impact of the recession had had an adverse effect on the vulnerable groups, hence, the need for urgent support for them.
He said this while distributing money to 200 beneficiaries at the 2nd phase of the Wole Olanipekun Foundation’s Youth Empowerment and Widows-Aged Programme held in the town on Saturday.
The legal icon was represented at the occasion by the General Manager of the Ikere-based Newcruize FM 92.7, Mr. Jide Ogunluyi.
Prodding the government to urgently help vulnerable Nigerians after last year’s lockdown had further done colossal damage to their lives, Olanipekun said:
“According to the world bank, both the long and near terms outlook for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the damage it has dealt to prospects for growth of world economies are damning.
“The baseline forecast envisions 5.2 per cent contraction in global GDP in 2020, using market exchange rate weights- the deepest global recession in decades, despite the extraordinary efforts of government’s to counter the downturn with fiscal and monetary policies.
“The recession is expected to leave lasting scars through lower investments, erosion of human capital through job losses, schooling as well as fragmentation of global trade and supply linkages”.
He advised the Ikere community to stand united in the face of its many challenges, saying, “We must remain as one. We must remain united and give Ikere Ekiti a good name.
“My vision with this programme is to provide succour and ameliorate the sufferings of the poor masses.
“Targeting enterprising youth is part of the best ways to build a virile economy. and each of the beneficiaries must be focused and use the money wisely”.
Cataloguing areas where Olanipekun had contributed to the town’s development, the Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Adejimi Adu, represented by High Chief Sapetu, Prof. Babatola Olufemi, said the lawyer donated a sum of N12 million to the fund for the take-off of the Bamidele Olumilua University of Science and Technology, Ikere Ekiti.
Oba Adu added that the legal icon had also donated medical facilities, paid medical bills of the poor, empowering youth, aged, widows and established the NewsCruise FM, the first private radio station in the community, among other interventions.
The Chairman of the Wole Olanipekun Foundation, Mr. Seyi Ogoji, charged the beneficiaries to keep to the founder’s vision, which was to provide succour and ameliorate the sufferings of the poor masses.
“This foundation is targeting enterprising youth and supporting those considered to be weak for help. You must go out and multiply and contribute to the economy of this town and our country. The objective is to make you grow as employers of labour.
“We know you are vibrant and have the energy. I know that our youth are hardworking and productive, you are not lazy, especially Ikere youth. Begin to conceptualise competitive business ideas that can propel your visions.
“According to information from the National Bureau of Statistics, 31 per cent of Nigerian youth lack access to bank loans.. Even the stringent conditions can’t allow you to access it, if available.
“But Wole Olanipekun is giving this grant free to our youth without conditions, the only condition we expect is you applying the money well to build yourselves, your town, state and country”, he said.
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