Lagos – Mrs Omotayo Omotosho, a former Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC), has advised Federal Government to develop tax incentives to encourage voluntary organisations to assist the less privileged.
Omotosho gave the advice at a seminar organised by the Institute of Voluntary Sector Management (IVSM) in Lagos.
The theme of the seminar was: %6r As a Change Agent in Deepening Democracy’’.
She said that the tax incentive would create opportunity for every citizen, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, gender, age, disability or economic status to enjoy the basic necessities of life.
Omotosho said that voluntary sector organisation could also contribute immensely to the establishment of a greater Nigeria in which there would be equal opportunity for all.
“We must understand what we mean by voluntary sector and which organisations occupy that space in Nigeria.
“It is through this understanding that we can appreciate how the sector can be a catalyst for change, a real change agent in the government’s quest to establish a society where every Nigerian has equal right.
“To nurture our young democracy and ensure that it takes root, a vibrant and well-resourced voluntary sector has to be at its heart.
“In the spirit of change and national orientation, it is time we asked ourselves how many lives have we added value to?’’
According to her, it is a reality that government alone cannot directly solve all our problems.
“Given the multiplicity of our needs as people, the government cannot practically meet every need within the constraneed within the constraints of its limited resources.
“In every society, we have those who are financially and societally disadvantaged as a result of long-term health problem, disability, old age or indeed chronic poverty.
“Any society that fails to cater for its voiceless and most vulnerable members as represented by young children and the aged has failed in its moral and social responsibilities,” she said.
Also speaking, Dr Newton Jibunoh, the Chairman of the occasion, said that the idea of voluntarism was embedded in itself.
“By borrowing other culture, we are losing what is embedded in our culture, we are losing what is embedded in our society,” Jibunoh said. (NAN)