Fred Itua, Abuja
As parts of efforts to assist poor and vulnerable children affected in the ongoing insurgency war in the North East, top businessmen, on Sunday night, donated big in Abuja.
Oil mogul, Femi Otedola made the biggest donation of N5 billion, followed by Aliko Dangote who made a donation of N100 million.
The duo made the donations at the launch of Cuppy Foundation and fundraising for vulnerable children and women. Cuppy whose real name is Florence is the daughter of Otedola.
The foundation is partnering Save the Children, a global non-governmental organisation.
Speaking at the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said Otedola’s donation was one of the biggest in Nigeria’s history. He urged Nigerians to offer any financial they can give in assisting the government.
He conceded that the challenges were too enormous for the government alone to handle. He said if wealthy Nigerians offer their assistance, things will be easier.
He said: “The N5 billion is probably one of the largest donations we have had in Nigeria. What will you be remembered for? No one ever remember the number of houses, cars or property.
“This event must also focus on the plight of vulnerable children and women in Nigeria. This is an unfinished business.
“We are far from where we ought to be. We have over 1.7 million added to the job market every year. Government can’t do it alone. It is time for each and everyone of us to make a difference.”
Dangote, while making his donation, said he would continue to offer assistance to the needy. He said he would give most of his money out before he dies. He called for more philanthropic gestures in Nigeria.
He said: “We need more Nigerians with big hearts to give back to the needy. Nigerians have given us so much. We should give back to Nigeria. We need to support the government. They have a lot on their hands. We need to help them.
“Nigerians find it hard to give. Philanthropy in Nigeria is still an issue. To who much is given, more is expected. When you give, you get more. I will give most of my money before I pass on. We have more than 50,000 orphans in Borno State. I will support this gesture with N100 million.”
Cuppy in her remarks, said her vision is to give and assist the vulnerable in the society. She said her visit to an IDP camp in Borno changed her views.
She said: “I stand as a philanthropist with a big vision for Nigeria. We are here to give. I founded this foundation as a way of giving back to the less privileged. I have a passion in giving to those in need.
“Three months ago, I visited IDPs in Borno. I saw sick children and so many malnourished children. I was told that I only met a lucky few. Ever since then, my determination to save Nigerian children has grown.”