Elumelu Commits N2.5bn to Distressed Nigerian Communities

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The presidential dinner held last week to rally Nigerians to support the victims of terror realised more than N80 billion in donations as top Nigerians showed they care about their fellow citizens afflicted by the insurgency and terror attacks.

The fund raising event anchored by President Goodluck Jonathan brought together top Nigerians and organisations to donate different amounts to support the victims of terror.

The president, who personally opened the event with a donation of N10 billion on behalf of the federal government, passionately appealed to Nigerians to show that they care by donating generously to the Victims Support Fund (VSF) no matter how small or big the amount donated.

In response to the president’s plea, state governments, individuals and private sector organisations in the oil and gas as well as the banking industry donated handsomely to the fund, bringing the total amount realised to over N80 billion on the night.

It was however Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, who brought an innovative structure for charitable don    ations by committing N2.5 billion to uplifting the lives of Nigerians affected by conflict and natural disasters. The amount represented the highest by any individual on the night.

Elumelu's donation included N1 billion immediately to the Victim Support Fund, while the additional N1.5 billion will go towards establishing and endowing a Nigeria Opportunity and Empowerment Fund over the next three years to support other distressed communities in the country.

The Opportunity and Empowerment Fund, which will be managed by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, will be run according to global best practices and will be used to make investments and provide grants that create economic opportunities for communities around Nigeria that have been ravaged by conflict or where fundamental issues of inclusion have to be addressed such as in the Niger Delta region.
“We want to show that the dynamic and long-term use of capital can create the enabling environment – supporting a generation of entrepreneurs, who themselves can lift a region and a people onward and upwards,” explained Elumelu.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which will manage the N1.5 billion fund, is an African-based, African-funded philanthropic organisation, founded in 2010 by Elumelu to support entrepreneurship in Africa by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector.

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