Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has lauded the efficacy of HelpNow, a social intervention platform deployed to support at least two million Lagosians through a crowdfunding model that rallies support of well-meaning individuals and corporates. This effort is geared towards mitigating the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the income and livelihoods of millions of households in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of HelpNow, an initiative of Softcom, a company dedicated to connecting people and business through meaningful innovation, in collaboration with private sector organizations like Deloitte, MTN, Ernst &Young, Future Africa, Providus Bank, Sapphire Virtual Network, John Ashley Foundation, GTBank, Wildreams and Banwo & Ighodalo, Mr. Sanwo-Olu noted that “the role of technology in addressing the socio-economic challenges of the modern world is not only important, but also incontrovertible. 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”, concluded the Governor.
Earlier, Mr. Yomi Adedeji, CEO of Softcom Limited, while presenting the features of HelpNow, had said that the HelpNow initiative was created to seek and provide help for a good number of vulnerable people amongst us, who are having challenges in providing for themselves and their families as result of the impacts of COVID-19.
According to him “we were inspired by the belief that while the Coronavirus pandemic affects everyone, the impact is not the same across board. As a result of the effects of this deadly virus and its restriction of economic activities, the vulnerable in our society will have challenges in catering for themselves and their families. And the ones that can survive this phase will need our help now to get back on their feet”.
‘It is for these reasons that Softcom Limited developed the HelpNow platform. We also worked with the Bank of Industry (BoI), the telcos, and LASG, to organize the records of vulnerable Nigerians in Lagos, covering people with disabilities, the poorest households and the aged. This is to ensure that the target segment of the society we developed this initiative for is sufficiently reached”.
He added that “these records reduce guesses or duplication of efforts, and ensure that more people are reached, and no individual or family benefits more than once. It is important to note that the credibility and transparency of the process is assured.
Deloitte and Ernst &Young will provide audit and operational support to guarantee that every kobo donated gets to a beneficiary as promised”.
HelpNow is a private sector-led collaboration focused on contributing towards achieving the SDG Agenda 2030 on ending poverty, ensuring zero hunger, and ultimately improving the quality of life and wellbeing of every Nigerian. The platform, www.helpnow.ng, is set-up to pair donors with beneficiaries who require support at any point in time.