Governor of Edo State Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday called on world leaders to adopt a common strategy to end poverty in all parts of the world.
Obaseki made the call on Tuesday on the occasion of the commemoration of the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty, observed on October 17, each year.
According to the governor, “world leaders need to review their social and economic policies to accommodate the needs of people in the rich, developing and underdeveloped countries.”
He explained that “what causes poverty in some countries is in actual fact, the result or effect of some policies in the developed countries,” arguing “anti-free trade and protectionist policies abound that put developing countries in very precarious situations and ultimately, in poverty.”
To create a level-playing field for all economies to take equal leap at development, Obaseki proffered “a broad-based and an all-inclusive global development plan anchored on fair trade policies,” which he said is in line with the theme of the 2017 event: “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A Path Toward Peaceful and Inclusive Societies.”
He challenged political actors, thought and business leaders in third world countries to rise to the occasion and tackle the barriers to accessing quality education, health care, land and other forms of capital, housing and employment by the populace to drag them out of the poverty net.
The governor said his administration has prioritised technical education to equip Edo youths with the skills to confront poverty and defeat it.
“Our emphasis on primary health care is deliberate and the wisdom behind it is that a healthy population, especially the middle class and those on the lower rung of the ladder, can withstand the pressure of life. With the right capacity, they can compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world,” he added.
Obaseki recalled how irritated and frustrated Edo people used to feel until his administration signed the Private Property Bill (PPP) into law, which has since brought sanity to land acquisition and management in the state.
“Today people can acquire land and develop their property without being harassed by thugs and criminals” he said, adding that his administration through the several people-oriented programmes in agriculture, wealth and employment creation, has empowered thousands of Edo youths across the state.
According to the United Nations, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration by the General Assembly, in its Resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992, which set October 17 aside as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski — which inspired the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty — and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.