By Lanre Adesanya

A financial expert, Dr. Jubril Salaudeen has urged the government to take decisive step in making functional education available to teaming Nigerian youths, so as to reduce the ever rising spate of poverty.

Salaudeen made the assertion in his speech as guest speaker at the 9th Abdulwahid Islamic Foundation Annual Lecture and Special Prayer for the Nation tagged:”The Menace of Poverty:The Islamic Solution” ,held at Alapere-Ketu, Lagos.

Dr. Salaudeen an adjunct faculty at the Lagos Business School and business strategist, bemoans the dearth of competent graduates from the nation’s tiertiary institution,urging government to as a matter of urgency address the societal milieu.

According to him, there is no government without the followership, education now is not functional as such could not help stem the growing trend of poverty.

“Government need focus on education,as our institutions most times churn out graduating illiterates due to the fact that education now is not functional.

“If functional education were available, poverty would have been tackle at its root.

“The get-rich-syndrome is a common feature within our youths and it could lead to poverty,drug addiction also ends up in psychological improverishment.

He noted that,”Skill acquisition and focus on the agricultural sector is a leeway from poverty,government should also focus on tiertiary industry to boost our economy. Salaudeen said.

Commenting on the North East poverty status, the devout Muslim noted that, the leadership in the area are the ones to blame,as there are no law barring women from being educated.

He also counseled the Federal Government to critically look into making available, formidable security in schools, all around the country to encourage the students.

Salaudeen however,urge Muslim faithful and well meaning Nigerians,on the importance of giving 2.5 percent of their legitimate earnings as zakat to ensure equitable share of wealth in the society.

“Muslims don’t live in isolation,they live with other faiths,so they should help the indigents 2.5percent of their total earnings is spelt out in our holy book as zakat.

Dr Salaudeen added that,” the zakat is meant for provision for the clothing, feeding,healthcare and housing of the less privileged in the society, poverty is need specific and this vicious cycle of must be broken”.

Earlier while speaking with newsmen,the President of the Foundation, Engineer Ishaq Alabi cited the essence of the programme target poverty as a discourse given its harsh impact on societal realities as it affects individuals.

“We know that when there is poverty, there is bound to be health issues in the country. The cost of accessing medical facility adds up to the huge bills to be paid by people who could barely get something to eat.

“These minor health issues unattended to end up too costly to manage to extent of claiming lives of many people all due to poverty, so we are giving out this insurance facility to ten less privileged individual.

He advised government at all levels to be just in the use of the nation’s wealth entrusted in their care and be transparent in the distribution of wealth.

The initiator of the foundation, who doubles as the Lagos State Coordinator of the Buhari Youth Organisation (BYO),Comrade Abdulwaheed Odunuga, said that the goal of the foundation was to address both religious and societal needs of the people.

“People always rely on government to solve our problems but this is not possible, though government must provide enabling environment for people to make ends meet. Honesty, we can do a lot to alleviate the suffering of our people if the well meaning Nigerians could sacrifice and be selfless to the cause of the poor around them.

Waheed urged public office holders to always assess the priority of the people before embarking on empowerment programmes, as such gesture has no visible result and impact on people’s live.

According to him,most beneficiaries of such empowerments ends up selling items presented to them at ridiculous prices because they don’t need them.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Elizabeth Tajelawi, a petty trader, said: “I am so much impressed, you can see that I need medical care and getting to hospital the they may give me bills I won’t be able to pay.

Tajelawi, a widow, urged well meaning Nigerians and government to invest fund in healthcare to save many lives.

The Grand Patron of the Foundation, Sheikh Abdul-Rafi’i Muh. Awwal led that Muslim faithful in prayers for the nation.The foundation also conducted free medical checkups for the participants.