Francis Udoh Sunday is the chief executive officer of Francis Udoh Academy, an online business enterprise that he uses to offer free training to young people.
His academy develops the talents and skills in young people and teaches them how to harness their potential. Udoh, 40, believes that the only way any economy, especially that of Nigeria, could grow is when government gives business owners an enabling environment to operate in.
Udoh has done many programmes in Lagos through which he empowered and encouraged young men and women, widows and other members of society to be useful to themselves and others. In September 2018, during his 40th birthday, Udoh provided meals for 29 families with foodstuff donated by individuals. He also paid the school fees of 23 children picked from vulnerable families in Ajegunle, Lagos. Udoh’s foundation also adopted a child from each family with a deceased father with five children in Ajegunle, Lagos. Then there were calls from his kinsmen who wanted to benefit from his humanitarian activities.
According to him, in the process of reaching out to his people in Akwa Ibom State, his mother died.
“In the course of the burial preparations, I used the avenue to execute the plans I had for my people. Akwa Ibom has always been a place where a lot of young people see politics as business. I decided to change the narrative. I also wanted to use the opportunity to open the eyes of some of those in my community who have more money to do such things but have refused to.”
During his mother’s funeral in March 2018 at his hometown, Miyan, in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, he visited a health centre there and found out that it was not functioning properly because the only borehole there was inoperative: “I decided to fix the borehole on March 28, 2018, four days after the burial of my mother. Today, with the proper running of the borehole, the health centre is functioning very well. I also engaged a guard to secure the place.”
Udoh explained that, if the health centre had been functioning as expected, the death of his mother and so many others in his community would have been prevented.
“And I still have an aged father who is in the village. So, I do not want him to die the way my mother and others died,” he said.
He added that, in July 2018, he organised a week-long free medical outreach, comprising tests for malaria, typhoid and diabetes in Miyan, in memory of his mother who died of diabetes: “We also did screening on HIV/AIDS and hypertension and about 1,587 people attended the entire exercise, a record that has never been witnessed in any of the hospitals in the state, in one week.
“We wrote the executive chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government, Hon. Ekanem Brown, and the medical director of the health centre and they supported me. In the process, we renovated the centre and changed all window nets. I am also appreciative of Dr. Inemesit Brown for his free medical assistance during the free medical services in Minya.”
Udoh has now decided to go further to touch more lives by empowering graduates in Akwa Ibom State with a skills programme called “Let’s Go Solar in Akwa Ibom,” from January 28 to February 2, 2019.
He said, “The internal revenue and allocation is enough to cater for over six million population of Akwa State. But it is sad that, anytime I go home, I see young graduates roaming the streets without jobs. That is why we are planning to train some of them on how to install solar energy systems, with sponsorship from Mr. Wale Adepoju, Demola Onanuga of BASSCOMM, Mr. Chris Ahanonu, who donated drugs worth N100,000, Ikechukwu Ekwueme of Mozyk Venture Limited, who donated mosquito nets, and Mr. Chucks Umezulora, the principal sponsor in the solar energy project, and my cousins who sent money for the training.”
He acknowledged that former governors of Akwa State, especially Obong Victor Attah and Senator Godswill Akpabio, did well in the state, just as he commended the present administration of Emmanuel Udom for the great job he has been doing in the state.