The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has given a boost to the on-going efforts for the rehabilitation of victims of the recent flood disaster across the country with a donation of N1 billion.
With this donation, Mr. Tony Elumelu has joined the league of African titans of philanthropy, who are redefining corporate giving in Nigeria.
The Chairman of Visafone Telecommunications, Mr. Jim Ovia, and a business mogul, Arthur Eze, also recently donated N1 billion each for the rehabilitation of victims of the recent flood disaster.
TEF, established by the former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA), is the vehicle being used to reach out to the less privileged in the society and build capacity for young entrepreneurs on the continent.
It was set up as a pan-African venture in August 2010 to finance promising business start-ups and SMEs on the continent, deepen public private partnerships, and mentor a new generation of business managers.
Elumelu, while announcing the donation, said that government should not be left alone to cater for the victims and called on corporate organisations and multinationals to come out fully in the joint task of providing relief to the victims.
According to him, these organisations make their profits from the society and it is time to give back to the society that has helped them in wealth creation.
Commenting on the new wave of philanthropy in Africa, Howard Jones of Investment Security Trust also stated: "This is a new phase in philanthropy, coming from Africa. It is a welcome development. It is also a new phase in corporate giving, coming from young African entrepreneurs. It is a highly commendable move that should be lauded by all and sundry."
President Goodluck Jonathan recently pledged government's support and collaboration with TEF in private sector initiatives that are aimed at boosting employment generation; increasing national competitiveness; encouraging social giving; and facilitating access to finance.
Jonathan made the pledge when he hosted Elumelu and the TEF Advisory Board in Abuja recently, stating that relevant government institutions would be asked to work with the foundation in these areas.
Elumelu is also Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, an African investment company deploying proprietary capital for the long term in the most promising sectors of the continent, and Tenoil Petroleum and Energy Services Limited.
Immediately after the flood disaster, the Federal Government, as a stopgap measure, announced the disbursement of N500 million to the highly impacted states, N300 million to the moderately impacted ones and N200 million to the least impacted states, to enable them cushion the effects of the flooding.
Thereafter, it set up a 34-man Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation co-chaired by Aliko Dangote and Olisa Agbakoba, which organised in Abuja, a dinner to raise funds for the victims of the flooding during which over N12 billion was realised.
Dangote was the highest donor, having donated N2.5 billion to the flood victims.
The committee has undertaken an assessment tour of many affected states, including Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa.