The Lagos State Government has lauded the launch of HelpNow, a social intervention platform deployed to support at least two million Lagosians through a crowdfunding model.
The platform will support two million people by rallying support of well-meaning individuals and corporates.
Speaking during the launch at Lagos House, Marina on Thursday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the effort was geared towards mitigating the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the income and livelihoods of millions of households in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu said the role of technology in addressing the socio-economic challenges of the modern world was not only important, but also incontrovertible.
He said this consciousness was the reason why technology was a critical component of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of his government.
HelpNow is an initiative of Softcom, a company dedicated to connecting people and businesses through meaningful innovation.
The unveiling was in collaboration with private sector organisations such as Deloitte, MTN, Ernst & Young, Future Africa, Providus Bank, Sapphire Virtual Network, John Ashley Foundation, GTBank, Wildreams and Banwo & Ighodalo.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the state government is determined to leverage technology and its associated innovations to make governance easier and transform the state.
He added: “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 organisations 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.”
Presenting the features of HelpNow, the Chief Executive Officer, Softcom Limited, Yomi Adedeji, said the initiative was created to seek and provide help for a good number of vulnerable people.
Adedeji said the platform was for those who were having challenges in providing for themselves and their families as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.
He said the company was inspired by the belief that while the Coronavirus pandemic affected everyone, the impact was not the same across board.
He said: “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, the telcos and Lagos State Government to organise 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.
“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.”
Adedeji said Deloitte and Ernst & Young would provide audit and operational support to guarantee that every kobo donated got 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.
Corporates and private individuals in Nigeria and worldwide are encouraged to visit the website to donate to this humanitarian cause targeted at ending poverty and hunger in Nigeria.
No amount of donation is too small to help those in need.
Donors can view the impact of their giving as well as beneficiaries’ testimonials on the platform.