The Honorable Minister of Communications Technology, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has appealed to corporate organizations and wealthy Nigerians to support humanitarian causes as this can help reduce the rate of poverty in the country.
Speaking at the premiere of Airtel Touching Lives season 4 in Lagos, the Minister applauded Airtel’s commitment and consistency in reaching the downtrodden and empowering them.
He urged other corporate organizations to follow in the footsteps of the telco in extending a helping hand to those in need.
“I think that the companies doing business in Nigeria who have been benefiting from the enabling environment in Nigeria and the individuals and businessmen who have been benefiting must certainly come to the rescue and multiply what Airtel has been doing,” he said.
He stated that government needs the support of the private sector, NGOs, philanthropists and other well-meaning organizations to eradicate hunger and poverty.
The Minister also called on the National Assembly to inspire and encourage businesses in Nigeria to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
“On the part of government, I think particularly, the National Assembly, which is saddled with making laws for us, should also feel challenged by what we have seen tonight by trying to initiate laws which would inspire or encourage Corporate Social Responsibility to be a major issue in the running of businesses of Nigeria”, he said.
“I am sure that Airtel might have spent fortunes to do what they have done, it is my prayer that Almighty God will continue to prosper the management of Airtel Nigeria and to help prosper Airtel itself. I want to challenge all of us tonight to make resolutions to touch lives in the same vein that Airtel has been doing” he added.
According to the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, the telco will not relent in its effort to restore hope and helping the less privileged in the society in line with its vision of creating empowerment opportunities and making life better for Nigerians.
“I want to thank everyone in this room and to encourage you again; there is no limit to how kind any of us can be. My parting message is don’t spend your time asking why there are poor people in the world; it’s a waste of time.
“The right question is what can we do to change it? We are always going to have poor and unfortunate people amongst us. What next is what you can do to affect their circumstances and I am encouraging you to do something,” he said.
Since Airtel launched the Touching Lives initiative three years ago, it has achieved remarkable successes having restored hope of despaired individuals and families, saved many from the throes of death and empowered many underprivileged Nigerians.
The event was attended by several dignitaries including Senator Ajayi Borrofice, Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology; Hon. Ujam Chukwuemeka, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Communications; Representative of the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Adeniji Kazeem; Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission; Bimbo Ashiru, Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry; Leo Stan Ekeh, founder, Zinox and Oby Ezekwesili, Former Minister of Education & Renowned Public Intellectual, among several others.