Dear Partner, I am delighted to welcome you to the New Year and thank you immensely for your consistent support despite the challenges and uncertainties that characterized the year 2020. Your partnership gave us the needed boost to drive our vision to strengthen electoral processes, build human capital and advocate for environmental sustainability.
Our journey as a nation last year unpacked the peculiarities that make the vision of SING Nigeria a priority. We observed the detrimental effect of stacked-up years of poor funding and lack of prioritization in the educational sector. As the rest of the world transitioned to e-learning, millions of children in Nigeria were left behind due to surmountable inadequacies. This is compounded by the fact that 90 million people representing almost half of the country’s population live in extreme poverty, and one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children lives in Nigeria. Also, 80 million people lack access to electricity and over 60 percent of Nigerians still don’t have access to the internet.
This challenge is built against the backdrop of an electoral system that is marred by a plethora of issues. Research findings from our Election Observation Activity in Edo & Ondo States last year revealed that money politics played a significant role in determining the winner of both elections. We identified this as a strong wave of electoral malpractice that will downturn the progress of elections in the next few years if not addressed. Money politics does not only impede the integrity of the electoral process, but it also robs the nation of fit leaders that can contribute to its advancement. SING championed its advocacy campaign #EndMoneyPolitics which aims to promote the adoption of foolproof transparency and enforcement measures in campaign financing.
In addition, the issue of climate change has taken the back burner of national discourse, even though the plight of people in the Niger Delta remains existential. Communities continue to deal with the devastation caused by gas flaring and oil spillage which contaminates the land, sea, and air, thereby stripping people of their means of livelihood and dignity.
We are faced with the stark realization that the future of Nigeria can only be determined by the skill of its population. The UN world population report predicts that Nigeria will become the 3rd most populous country in the world, surpassing the United States of America by 2050. Currently, Nigeria has one of the largest youth populations in the world and is predicted to double by 2050. The question remains, what is the fate of the Nigerian youth now and what will it be in the next 30 years?
SING Nigeria has always pushed for equal access to good quality education driven by technology because we believe youths can be a driving force for economic development when given opportunities needed to thrive. For more than 10 years, we have operated a Digital Skills Development Centre in Opume Community, Bayelsa State, where we have graduated over 250 trainees in digital skills from basic to intermediary level. This is a testament to our commitment to ensure children are given the tools they need to thrive in the world which has been revolutionized by information technology.
SING Nigeria will be taking the advocacy of bridging the educational divide through digital inclusion to a whole new level through its Code3 Project which will focus on developing skills of children in underserved communities in Creative Intelligence Technology. The Code 3 Project which is built on three pillars – Learn, Innovate, Impact – helps children and young people build confidence, explore new and innovative ways of learning and become drivers of change in their communities and the world at large.
A new agenda has been set for this year as we aim to create more impact and foster innovation through our community projects. We believe that our passion for humanity is tested in times of adversity and we are strengthened by the knowledge that we have a vibrant team of partners like you who are willing to walk this journey with us.
2021 presents a new opportunity for us to make an impact and we are eagerly looking forward to your partnership on the projects and programmes we have outlined for the year. We solicit your support both financially and otherwise to help us reach more beneficiaries.
Together, we can change more lives.
Happy New Year!