Shagaya advises Nigerian govt on how to tackle insecurity

Shagaya advises Nigerian govt on how to tackle insecurity

The Chairman, Salman Shagaya Foundation, Alhaji Sheriff Shagaya advised the Nigerian government on the way out of the Insecurity bedeviling the country.

Shagaya gave this advice while speaking with journalists at his GRA residence in Ilorin, Kwara State. During the interview, he urged the government across all levels to invest heavily in reducing the problem of unemployment that is endemic in society.

The UK-trained Economics graduate said, “Job creation and all-encompassing social security scheme that will ensure the poor and the rich have access to good living and basic social goods is the way out of the security challenges bedeviling Nigeria at the moment.

“Youth unemployment remains a common denominator for all social and economic crises facing the country and that is why you will see that these menaces are happening simultaneously across the country. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We need to engage people productively if we don’t want them to be destructive.

“All the plants opened in the olden days were providing jobs for people. But now, when last did you hear that factory is opened anywhere? Driving around Asa Dam road and some other areas in Ilorin for instance, all the warehouses you see were once factories and they are no more functional. Do you know how many jobs are lost with the multiplier effects?

“Our population is growing at an alarming rate; we are producing people without creating jobs. Imagine the majority of our active young men just staying idle having nothing to do. It is not a political thing, we all have to sit down across political divides and think about the future as young people.

“When those ruling us today were all younger, they had free education, health insurance scheme, and all. But it is almost impossible for us to have free education now. Look at all the government schools, no windows, no roofs, lizards in all the classrooms, no toilets. How can an education system function like this? Hardly will you find people going to private schools or hospitals in the UK, because the standards are almost the same. As you treat the poor, so you treat the rich, which is why they have peace. But in Nigeria, it is either you are poor or you are rich and we want peace?”

Speaking further, he explained that his happiest point in life is watching the videos of indigent persons his Foundation has impacted in their lives expressing satisfaction and fulfillment.

“My Foundation is one of the most important things in my life. It is indeed one of the happiest points in my life. People ask me what makes you happy, and then I say it is the videos and interactions with all the indigent people I give solar, food, money to help their businesses. I watch these videos for months back to back, and I am always happy seeing how much impact I’ve made in their lives. For me, my Foundation is more precious to me than my business. If I was given the option to stop being an oil trader but my Foundation will be there till eternity, I prefer my Foundation,” he said.

Meanwhile, he revealed what inspired him to establish the Foundation.  The philanthropist said during his bid to contest for the House of Representatives seat in 2015, he moved round communities in Kwara State and discovered in some of these communities, it’s almost impossible for them to get some basic amenities for living such as portable and clean water, electricity and so on.

“The level of poverty in those areas was shocking. The residents only need little to live yet are struggling to get it. That was one of the saddest days of my life. They’ve never seen light before. But politicians will come to identify with them during elections only to dump them later. From this experience, I sat down and thought of what I can do to make impact in the lives of these people, then I established the Foundation,” he stressed.

According to him, the Salman Shagaya Foundation has no political colouration or undertone.

“I can guarantee you 100% that my Foundation has no political coloration. We have reached tens of thousands of poor people without recourse to political standing, through our conditional cash transfer scheme, we did solar projects and other empowerment and health support interventions.

“If I ever find out that gestures are made to people based on their political standing or party, I can dissolve the board and bring in people who are ready for the job. Charity should not be about politics. The Foundation is just to help people. It does not have anything to do with party or politics.

“I also have people in Kaduna, Katsina, but that of Kwara is more pronounced because it is where I come from. Even, there are charities in London that I support. I see a lot of benefit in my business with their (beneficiaries) prayers and that is priceless for me”, he expressed.

The Chairman prayed that his Foundation grows ten times bigger than it is now in the next five years and gain more structures in the society.

The Informant247 News Nigeria

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