There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the frailties of the human race. It has also wrecked the world economy. However, it has also brought out the best in some people as many Nigerians have come to the aid of the underprivileged members of society. TOFARATI IGE takes a look at wealthy Nigerians who have donated huge amounts of money to cushion the effects of the pandemic
Being the richest black man in the world is no mean feat. And living up to the billing, Aliko Dangote, does not believe in doing small things. Whenever he wants to give, he gives big.
Shortly after the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country, Dangote, donated a hefty sum of N2bn to the government to battle the disease.Dangote also partnered with Access Bank to provide treatment, testing, training and isolation centres across the country.
Billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist, Folorunsho Alakija, is one woman who has repeatedly shown that she has the milk of human kindness flowing in her veins.
Apparently disturbed by the damaging effect the coronavirus pandemic could have on the country, Alakija, who is the MD of Famfa Oil Limited, gave the Federal Government N1bn as her form of support against the rampaging pandemic.
The donation was made on behalf of she and her husband, Modupe.Alakija’s non-governmental organisation, Rose of Sharon Foundation, is known for helping widows and orphans through business grants and scholarships.
That Tony Elumelu is a mentor to many— both young and old— is incontestable. The economist, entrepreneur and philanthropist is the Chairman of Heirs Holding, United Bank for Africa and Transcorp, as well as being the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which empowers African entrepreneurs to create jobs on the continent.
Elumelu has often said that he is deeply passionate about Africa and wants to see the continent grow. On a number of occasions, he has donated to worthy causes, especially as regards youths.
For the fight against COVID-19, the suave personality donated N1bn.
Alumni of TEF such as Juliet Kimuli (produces face masks in Uganda), Dr Adereni Abiodun (donated 10,000 face masks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in rural areas), Nkem Okocha (gives hope to vulnerable women during the lockdown), Olasupo Abideen (launches media initiative to battle fake news) are also battling pandemic with different innovative approaches.
A former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, is one of the most influential politicians in the country despite not holding any public position since he left as governor after serving two terms in 2007.
Considering that the index case of coronavirus in Nigeria was reported in Lagos, it is not surprising that the astute politician fondly called ‘Asiwaju’ quickly sprang to action. On the occasion of his 68th birthday, the APC chieftain donated N200m to the Federal Government and Lagos State Government. He wrote on Twitter, “Today, but for COVID-19, we would, as we have done for the last 12 years, have celebrated this day with the Bola Tinubu Colloquium. This year, we could not but by God’s grace, we will do so again.
“The circumstances this year prevent us from gathering together to celebrate my birthday but I would still like to mark the occasion.
“That is why I have chosen today to announce that I will be making a donation of N200m to fight this deadly virus. Pursuant to this pledge, N100m will be made available to the government of Lagos State and another N100m to the NCDC to support their efforts in fighting COVID-19.”
A former soldier, politician, businessman, Theophilus Danjuma, through the Victims Support Fund, set up a task force on COVID-19 to distribute food and drugs worth N1bn to internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups across the country.
In a statement that accompanied the donation, Danjuma wrote, “This intervention became necessary in view of the global devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and the huge human challenges it poses for the country.
“As a country, we must all do what we can to ensure that the spread is curtailed.
“The task force will provide N1bn worth of medical supplies, food, water and non-food items for IDPs and others, who will face special challenges at this difficult time.”
Charismatic billionaire, Femi Otedola, is a man who gives like it is going out of fashion. He has donated huge sums of money to different causes in the past and the coronavirus pandemic is not an exception.
Otedola, through his company, Amperion Power Distribution Limited, donated N1bn to the Federal Government to fight against the disease.
The founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, is an active and big player on the Nigerian business scene. With his interests cutting across several areas including iron and steel, cement, sugar refining and real estate, Rabiu does know his onion when it comes to entrepreneurship.
Having made his fortune in Nigeria, the billionaire doesn’t hesitate to come to the country’s aid when his help is needed. He donated N1bn to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Business and founder of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, is one man who likes to keep his personal life private. He prefers to concentrate on his business interest. Like others in his ilk have done, Ovia also stepped up to the plate to ‘knock down’ COVID-19 pandemic. He donated N1bn to the cause.
Ovia also engages in other philanthropic activities through the Mankind United to Support Total Education and Youth Empowerment/ICT Foundation, among other non-governmental organisations.
Businessman, Oba Otudeko, is the founder and chairman of the Honeywell Group. He is also a respected philanthropist and he uses his Oba Otudeko Foundation to silently empower many irrespective of where they come from.He donated N1bn to the Federal Government to wipe out the coronavirus pandemic out of the country.
The founder of Globacom and Conoil, Mike Adenuga, GCON, is an enigma of sorts. Many admire his business sense and courage but they rarely ever get to see him because he refers to be out of the limelight.
Though Adenuga doesn’t relish appearing in public, he has been a blessing to several people across different walks of life. Through his non-governmental organisation, Mike Adenuga Foundation, the businessman donated a whooping N1bn to the government towards the eradication of the virus.