By Juliet Umeh
Succour would soon come to not less than two million vulnerable Lagos residents as a technology company, Softcom in partnership with the Lagos State government and other corporate organisations have launched an initiative, HelpNow, to provide support to them.
The partners said the objective is to provide support to at least two million vulnerable people in Lagos through a crowdfunding model that rallies the support of well-meaning individuals and corporates.
HelpNow, an initiative of Softcom, is a private sector led collaboration in response to the debilitating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the income and livelihood of millions of Nigerians. Speaking at the launch, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the role of technology in addressing the socio-economic challenges of the modern world is not only important, but also incontrovertible.
He said: “This consciousness is the reason why technology is a critical component of the THEMES Agenda of our government.
“We are determined to leverage technology and its associated innovations to make governance easier and transform our State. However, like the experience in other megacities in the world, COVID-19 outbreak has shown the fragility of our societies and the need to seek innovative ways for addressing some of our immediate challenges has become more important.”
“With the launch of HelpNow today, we now have a platform that aggregates support for government’s efforts at alleviating the sufferings of the poor and vulnerable in our society. Government alone cannot address the socio-economic problems of any society. It needs the support of well-meaning individuals and corporate organizations to cater for the needy amongst us.”
“Before now, there was no platform such as HelpNow that allows effortless intervention in the lives of millions from anywhere and anonymously. For creating a platform that encourages collaboration and speedily mobilises succour for the needy and vulnerable, I commend Softcom Limited and its partners. The people of Lagos State appreciate your ingenuity and thoughtfulness,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Also, CEO, Softcom Limited and convener, HelpNow initiative, Mr. Yomi Adedeji, they believe that while the pandemic affects everyone, the impact is not the same across the board.
He said: “With limitatio
ns to economic activities, a good number of Lagosians are vulnerable and have a tough time taking care of themselves and their families. They need our help now to get back on their feet.
“Softcom is working with the Bank of Industry, Telco’s, and LASG to organize the records of vulnerable Nigerians covering people with disabilities, the poorest households and the aged, for this purpose. These records reduce guesses or duplication of efforts. It ensures that more people are reached, and no individual or family benefits more than once.”
Also, to ensure the credibility and transparency of the initiative, Deloitte and Ernst &Young will provide audit, governance and operational risk support, ensuring every Naira donated gets to a beneficiary as promised.
Adedeji encouraged corporates and private individuals in Nigeria and worldwide to support the initiative by visiting it’s website to donate.
He noted that HelpNow partners are committed to achieving the SDG Agenda 2030 on ending poverty, ensuring zero hunger, and ultimately improving the quality of life and wellbeing of all.