The planned Mega Rally by persons purporting to represent the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, turned out a big flop as the Nigeria Police Force and the state government cancelled the event due to security concerns.
Youths in the state had staged protests across major roads in Benin metropolis on Thursday, warning that desperate politicians were importing thugs from outside the state to cause mayhem during the purported rally.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on Thursday night, ordered that the event be cancelled over 'overriding internal security interests,' directing the state's commissioner of Police to meet with the opposing political interests.
This is as the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was on Friday morning placed under temporary house arrest by the Commissioner of Police to avert breakdown of law and order.
The Mega Rally was initially scheduled to hold at Garrick Memorial School, Ekenwan Road, but had to be moved to the private residence of the decampee, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was set to lead his supporters to the APC.
However, on Friday morning, the state government issued a strongly-worded directive against holding of political rallies and demonstrations across the state, following rising security tension in the state.
The Police, in a letter addressed to the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, signed by the Principal Staff Officer to the IGP, ACP Idowu Owohunwa, had said "in cognizance of the security consequences of the proposed Mega Rally, I am to confirm that the Inspector General of Police has directed the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command to emplace appropriate security framework that is directed at suspending the rally until further notice.
"He has also been directed to summon a meeting of all parties involved in the political development with a view to engaging them towards giving effect to his directives in overriding internal security interests."
It was learnt the police manned strategic points across the state to give effect to the state government's directive, which led to the dispersion of crowds that gathered at the Ugbor-Amagba axis of the state.
Comrade Oshiomhole was also not allowed out of his residence by the Commissioner of Police, Lawal Jimeta, who insisted that the political tension in the state would be exacerbated with him appearing in public.
On its part, the government warned all property owners that any venue used for activities in breach of its orders shall have its right of occupancy immediately revoked and forfeited to the Edo State Government, noting that it will not allow any person to turn the state into a battlefield.
According to a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., on Friday, "The Government of Edo State has, over the past few days, made clear its position that the plans by some identified mischief-makers to organise an unauthorised political rally in Benin City, was capable of leading to a breakdown of public peace and also a danger to the persons and property of Edo citizens.
"The events of yesterday, 12th December, 2019, were a scary prelude to the absolute mayhem which these irresponsible activities would generate if left unchecked.
"In defiance of the clear and publicised instruction of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), calling off the proposed rally owing to the security implications, these desperate persons are presently shopping around for alternative venues to carry out their incendiary activities."
Noting that the primary purpose of government is the protection of life and property, Ogie said "the government of Edo State has placed a total and complete ban on all political rallies, demonstrations and/or processions in any part of Edo State.
"The Government has further directed all security agencies to deal firmly with all persons (no matter how highly placed), who act in breach of this directive."
The state government also warned parents and guardians "to advise their children and wards not to allow themselves to be used as cannon-fodder in aid of the misguided political ambition and ego of people, whose own children reside and school abroad."
Pan-African financial Institution, United Bank for Africa Plc got double honours over the weekend as it emerged the Bank of the year 2019; while its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, also emerged CEO of the year at the Business Hallmark Newspaper Awards, held at the Civic Centre in Lagos on Sunday.
Uzoka beat other CEOs to the prize owing to his sterling achievement since he assumed the leadership role of the bank three years ago, whilst UBA was crowned bank of the year following its exceptional performance as it recorded impressive performance in key financial indicators in 2019.
This is the second time this year that Kennedy Uzoka has emerged CEO of the year as he had only recently clinched the Business Day Banking Awards, (BAFI). The recognitions and awards have further endorsed his visionary leadership style which has consistently earned UBA a plethora of laurels.
Receiving the awards on behalf of the bank, at a well-attended ceremony, which assembled distinguished personalities, UBA’s Executive Director, Mr. Ayoku Liadi, who represented the GMD, thanked the organisers for the recognition, noting that he was proud to work at one of the best institutions in Africa.
"We are creating superior value for all our customers, because we believe they are key to our everyday operations and this commitment, without a doubt has been yielding dividends,” Liadi said.
He continued: “Whilst we are encouraged by these awards, the recognitions present new challenges to us, as we will intensify our commitment towards setting benchmarks for the industry, particularly in our strategic roles,”
The Organiser of the awards and the Chief Executive Officer of Business Hallmark, Emeka Obasi, who spoke at the event explained that the best CEO award is borne out of the need to recognise achievements of financial executives who have been outstanding in their profession and have contributed in no small measure to the growth of their organisations and the economy at large.
Obasi also noted that the award given to UBA, is no doubt a well-deserved one, as is evidenced in the banks numerous innovations, and consistent investment in cutting edge technology giving birth to many firsts, including the launch of Leo the Chat Banker, in January of 2018. This fear has earned the bank the number one position in the digital space.
“Uzoka also did well by focusing on consistent expansion of UBA’s activities and services across and beyond the African continent”, all this is worthy of recognition.” Obasi concluded.
Just recently, UBA released its nine-month results ended September 30, 2019, closing the period with an impressive after-tax profit of N81.63bn, a growth of 32% over that of 2018, a momentum the bank will most likely sustain into the full-year, pointing to the possibility of even higher profits.
The bank’s gross earnings for 2019 nine-month stood at N428.22bn, compared to N310.45bn in 2018, representing 37.94% rise, while profit hit N81.63bn, from N61.7bn in 2018. The UBA group’s impairment charges on financial assets for the period decreased to N6.66bn, compared to N10.67bn in 2018, resulting in a decline in loan loss provision of 37.58%, thereby boosting the bank’s profit for the period.
In The Spotlight
Nothing underscores more the culture of greed, insensitivity and impunity that has crept into the public service of Nigeria than the scenario of multiple remuneration and pension schemes for serving public officers who previously served and pensioned in other capacities. This obnoxious practice involves high office holders such as cabinet ministers, governors, senators, and top military officials, who arrogated themselves outlandish perks that have gone to such ridiculous levels as to be perpetuated for life; even as the standard of living of an average Nigerian deteriorates daily and majority have been taken hostage by abject poverty, disease, hunger and insecurity. Representative democracy which by definition should be of, by, and for the people, seems to have put the worst Nigerians in government. Thus, in what must qualify as the most unconscionable parasitism imaginable, political leaders who begged voters to be entrusted with the management of state affairs would loot and rape public resources not only while in office but even out of office. In a country where governors are struggling to pay workers N34,000 ($50) minimum wage; this gluttony in high places is atrocious in the extreme. It is an unbelievable shame that qualifies as a case study in greed and selfishness.
It is comforting that a federal court has ordered affected ex-governors serving as ministers and senators to refund pensions they have collected so far. This is a good starting point to deal with the executive criminality. On the heels of the court decision, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and other 34 governors urging them to use their “leadership position to urgently disclose details of payment of pensions to former governors and other ex-officials between 1999 and 2019 under your state’s pension law… and to provide the names and number of ex-governors and other ex-officials receiving pensions in your state, and to publicly commit to repealing the law, and to pursue recovery of funds collected under the pension law.” In and out of office, Nigerian governors are on a roller coaster and the nation is now a victim of her corrupt, inept, clueless and lawless leadership.
Many state houses of assembly have gone against the recommendations of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to approve huge benefits for former governors and other ex-public office holders. Between 1999-2019, some State Houses of Assembly passed into law; bills sent by the State Governors, to the effect that they would be entitled to atrocious perks to address post-service challenges. The packages were such that disengaging public officers, including former governors and their deputies left office not feeling the difference between in and out because their pension packages and privileges of their offices remained intact. Some former governors are now entitled to life pension at a rate equivalent to the salary of the incumbent governor. In addition, they are entitled to a new official car and SUV replaced every four years, personal aide, cook, chauffeurs and adequate security detail at the expense of the state government.
Contrary to all expectations, most former governors left office and “retired” to the Senate or were appointed into the cabinet or other departments or agencies, where they continue to earn salaries and perks, in addition to their outlandish pension packages. Immediately affected are five cabinet ministers -Babatunde Fashola (Lagos, Housing and Urban Devt), Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom, Niger Delta), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers, Transportation), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun, Interior) and Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa, State Petroleum). Third Republic governors -Muhammed Lafiagi (Kwara, 1992-1993) and Isiaka Adeleke (Osun, 1992-1993), also made the endless list of infamy, which features others like Chris Ngige. And as if public resources are limitless, these ex-governors are also entitled to a befitting house not below a five-bedroom mansion in the FCT, Abuja or any place of their choice; allowances for furniture; yearly maintenance, free fuel and utilities. When this is added to the remuneration and perks of ex-governors who are now Senators, the cost of governance weighs heavily on the resources of the nation to the detriment of social services and infrastructural development. The irony of this repugnancy is that it has become pervasive at a time the country is facing the worst economic recession in decades.
Former Zamfara Governor, Abdul’aziz Yari’s written request for the payment of his “monthly upkeep allowance of ten million naira only…and a pension equivalent to the salary he was receiving while in office,” triggered created a devastating ripple effect, bringing to public attention and loud condemnation similar obnoxious laws in other states; from rich Lagos and Akwa Ibom, to poor Ekiti, Osun and Katsina. There are more undeserved other holders of high office, including senators Orji Uzor-Kalu and Theodore Orji (Abia), Kassim Shettima (Borno), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi), Danjuma Goje (Gombe) Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ibrahim Shekarau and Kabiru Gaya(Kano) and Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe).
One of the poster children of this criminality is former Senate President, David Mark (Benue South), first elected to the Senate in 1999. While in the military, Mark served as Niger governor (1984 and 1986) and retired in 1993 as Brigadier-General after serving as Communication Minister. It is standard operating procedure that all Senators get an end-of-tenure gratuity every four years. Double Dipping Senators also get pensions from their states. This begs the question: since Mark has been different persons at different times; and is still in active service earning his salary as a sitting Senator; is he entitled to pension and from which quarters?
Mark is not alone. Other double-dipping Senators include: former Senate President Bukola Saraki, (Kwara 2003-2011); Godswill Akpabio, (Akwa-Ibom, 2007-2015); Rabiu Kwankwaso, (Kano 1999-2003 & 2011-2015); Joshua Dariye (Plateau 1999-2007); Jonah Jang (Plateau 2007-2015); Abdullahi Adamu (Nassarawa 1999-2007); Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto 2007-2015); Bukar Ibrahim (Yobe 1999-2007); Theodore Orji (Abia 2007-2015); George Akume (Benue, 1999-2007); Adamu Aliero (Kebbi 1999-2007); Samuel Egwu (Ebonyi 1999-2007); Danjuma Goje (Gombe 2003-2011); Sanni Yerima (Zamfara 1999- 2007); Abubakar Danladi (Taraba deputy governor 2007-2015); Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia deputy governor 1999- 2003) and Abiodun Olujimi, (Ekiti deputy governor 2005-2007).
As ex-governor of Nigeria’s richest state, Fashola has a pension, in addition to earnings from his law firm. It is just unconscionable that he should be earning a salary as Minister of Works, Housing and Power. There are hundreds of thousands of double-dipping public office holders like former Education Minister and now Rivers State Governor, Nysom Wike, who are stealing the nation blind. The inherent social injustice wherein ex-governors enjoy lavish, humongous pension packages and continue to enjoy fat perks of office as federal lawmakers or cabinet ministers is most difficult to comprehend. In fact, the anti-graft agencies should launch a public campaign to recover all the misappropriated funds from these double-dipping public officials, including pensioned ex-governors who are now ambassadors or head of federal departments and agencies.
There is nothing in the labor laws of Nigeria that allows for such waste of scarce public resources on people who simply migrated through a revolving door from one position to another after four or eight years. Even if one concedes the right of a governor to retire and receive a pension till death; to concomitantly earn a salary, while receiving pension is to mock the concept of true reward. This reckless squandermania practically subjects the Nigerian people to eternal servitude and make its public officials totally dependent on the national treasury for life. The audacity of this impunity is rooted in the docility of the Nigerian people; who know this is wrong and unjust but do no more than bemoan in the closet of their rooms, whereas democracy expects them to do more. Nigerians have become a band of docile and complacent people, who concur in the despoliation of their land by their passive indifference and cold complicity in the face of reckless, arbitrary and ungodly dissipation of their commonwealth.
With this kind of obnoxious double-dipping, candidates for public office are ready more than ever to kill and to destroy to get to that office, for the everlasting enjoyment and opulence it offers devoid of sweat and stress. What should worry Nigerian politicians and office holders, in all of this is that they could wittingly or unwittingly be setting a wrong precedence that does not, however, inspire confidence that tomorrow would be better than today even with a change at the helm of affairs. It seems indeed, with Buhari and the APC, it may be worse. The leaders of yesteryear did not vote so much money for life after office. And yet, they did not steal or were not likely to have stolen as callously, ferociously, brazenly and irresponsibly as the present crop of politicians do.
At both federal and state levels, public resources are, year in, year out, allocated to former heads of state, former chief justices, Senator, House Reps, governors - indeed all sorts of people who have only been allowed by providence and the grace of the people, to hold high office. All these point to an unpardonable character deficiency among the Nigerian political leadership and the elite in general. It speaks for a deep-seated lack of compassion and shame that any Nigerian in leadership position can expropriate for himself and his family these huge sums of money amidst the misery in the country.
Certainly, every Nigerian must strengthen this democracy by protecting it from ravaging locusts that public officials have become. Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari must order the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), being the constitutional organ charged with that responsibility, to undertake a review of the perks of past and current public holders. There should be no further remuneration; none at all for the kleptomaniacs Nigeria is saddled with who are known to have stolen more than enough for their unborn generations of children. In the case of the greedy double-dipping office holders, they must retrace their steps as poster children for the republic of greed by refunding their pensions or be enrolled into a “Hall of Shame” by the citizens.
In The Spotlight
“God has been so kind, the only way I can show my gratitude to Him is to use my resources to support those who are underprivileged. This I intend to do for the rest of my life. In a world full of conflicts, diseases, calamities and inequality, we all need to show the milk of human kindness, to reach out and comfort the sick and give a helping hand to the weak.” With those touching words about the collective humanity that we all share and the purpose of life, Femi Otedola, Nigerian multi-billionaire and entrepreneur issued a cheque of N5 billion in support of Save the Children, a 100-year old UK-based charity. Otedola’s donation is for the rehabilitation of displaced and underprivileged children who are victims of the insurgency in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. The cheque was presented by Tolani Otedola, the billionaire’s eldest daughter, at a gala event in Abuja, Sunday, organised by another daughter, Florence Otedola, who is popularly known as DJ Cuppy. The latter is an Ambassador for Save the Children and a member of the organisation’s Africa Advisory Board. Femi Otedola’s friend, Aliko Dangote, also a billionaire and a philanthropist of note, added his own donation of N100 million bringing the total donation to N5.1 billion. I do not know how rich Otedola is, but any man that would give away N5 billion (about US $14 million) to support children or anyone in distress certainly has the milk of human kindness flowing through his veins. Otedola deserves special recognition and a word of gratitude for his generosity. By this singular act, and similar gestures in the past, he seems to be changing the narrative about the art of giving and the need for a sense of community and philanthropy in Nigeria. It is not enough to give, but to give consistently and generously, without any expectation of reward or gain.
Of all his efforts as an entrepreneur, Otedola would probably be most remembered for his acts of philanthropy in the long run, that is his social entrepreneurship, the readiness with which he offers a helping hand. In the last year or so, he has been on record for picking up the medical bills of Christian Chukwu, former Captain and coach of the Super Eagles or the Green Eagles as the team was earlier known. Chukwu (now 68) was a commanding presence on the football field. He led his local team, the Enugu Rangers to many victories, and as a member of the Green Eagles, he was a play maker and motivator of the team’s last line of defence. Both his fans and teammates called him “Chairman.” That was not for nothing. And yet the same man could not pay hospital bills. Femi Otedola stepped in and helped out. He did the same for Peter Fregene (now 72), Nigeria’s former international goalkeeper (1968- 1971). And for Majek Fashek, the gifted Reggae musician who at the height of his glory was dubbed “the rainmaker”, in attestation of the force and mythical quality of one of his famous tracks: “Send Down The Rain.” Many fans of his would insist even today, that whenever Majek Fashek performed that song, rain actually fell! But the magic has since left the stage, the myth has been compromised. The same Majek Fashek could also not pay hospital bills. Femi Otedola bailed him out. He also did the same for two famous Nigerian actors: Sadiq Daba and Victor Olaotan. There are probably many others whose cases are not reported in the media.
Nigeria is a very strange place where the future is as uncertain as the present. The gap between the rich and the poor is wider than the entire Sahara Desert. The average Nigerian lives on less than a dollar per day. Social infrastructure is in a state of decay. There is no social security scheme. The public health system collapsed long ago. Private hospitals detain the sick who are unable to pay for treatment. One woman gave birth in a hospital; she and her baby were detained. The country once tried to introduce a National Health Insurance Scheme. It has never worked, because it is used as an instrument of political and ethnic patronage. Ours is a country where even the rich are not sure of tomorrow. Talented people, distinguished professionals in various fields of endeavor end up becoming beggars, or destitute, not necessarily because they did not plan for their future or for unforeseeable accidents of life, but they suffer because Nigeria often leaves its citizens stranded. The state routinely disappoints the people. It is unfair. It can be cruel. People are treated as if they do not matter.
This is why every act of kindness is significant. It is not the amount that matters, but the very thought itself, that gesture that reminds us occasionally that in this pressure cooker of a society in which we live, you can still find a rich man who gives out a dollar or two, a concerned citizen who helps an accident victim, a cab driver who finds a document or some money forgotten by a passenger and returns it, or a security agent who does his work with the fear of God. Such persons are quite rare in these parts, and it is why we need a constant reminder that beyond the state or government, Nigeria is a country where we must continue to search for the meaning of Being-ness, and the reasons for being human. An Otedola helping the sick and the weak reminds us of the big difference that we all can make, not in dollars but each man in his own station according to his strength through simple and possible gestures of kindness.
As for Otedola, I do not imagine that he goes about with an ambulance-load of cash looking for other people’s medical bills to pay. Far from it. He supports other causes as well, particularly poor students whose school fees he pays, educational institutions to which he has donated buildings and religious bodies and groups that he has assisted. By involving his children in his most recent donation, he also signposts a strong narrative about parenting and sustainability. His N5 billion donation is routed through the Cuppy Foundation. The cheque was delivered by his eldest daughter. What else does a man need to say to his daughters or the suitors who want to marry a billionaire’s daughters? He tells them clearly that life goes beyond music, fashion, dancing, boo-ing, bae-ing, vacationing and Gelato-ing.
It is not surprising that his donation of N5 billion drew enthusiastic applause. The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said it is “the single largest donation to philanthropy in the country.” He may well be right. But perhaps the most notable reaction has been that of Reno Omokri, who describes himself these days as “a table-shaker.” And did Reno Omokri try to shake the table? In this particular matter, he didn’t actually shake the table; he broke the legs. Said he: “Femi Otedola has just put the billionaires of the North East to shame. Where are the Indimis, the Mai Deribe family and other oil billionaires from the North East? Google their names and some of the first pictures you will see are of their children in private jets marrying President’s children and displaying obscene wealth while surrounded by extreme poverty. It took a Good Samaritan stranger to do what the natives of the North East failed to do! Shame on them and God bless the talakawa that they have refused to look after.” This harsh and pain-inflicting comment has stretched the narrative a bit further - with the daughters of the two families that Omokri calls out directly defending family integrity on social media. The emerging controversy about how the rich Nigerian one per cent engages the rest of society and gives back or not is useful. But while Omokri may be accused of trying to politicize or ethnicize the Otedola gesture, we need to place his comment in proper context.
One, he probably generalizes when he refers to “Oil billionaires from the North East” in a manner that may be unfair to some other persons from that part of the country. The North East, one of Nigeria’s six geo-political zones consists of the following states: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe. I don’t know whether Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is an “oil billionaire” or not, but I know he is from Adamawa state. One of the reasons for his popularity among his people is his generosity and common touch. General TY Danjuma is from Taraba state. He easily belongs to Omokri’s “Oil billionaire” category, but it is a fact that through his TY Danjuma Foundation, the General has done a lot for his own people in Taraba State and across the North East and Nigeria. There is also a Muhammadu Indimi Foundation which prioritises the North East. We can praise Otedola without hurting the feelings of others. Two, while stating this, I am mindful of the bigger point in Omokri’s comment which is the felt, seen, and often commented upon abdication of responsibility by the Nigerian Northern elite.
The Nigerian elite is generally callous, selfish and irresponsible but the most alienated, the worst set can be found in the Northern part of Nigeria, an indolent elite that has occupied the higher rungs of privilege and power before and after independence and yet has not been able to translate its access to power into advantages for its people. Northern Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children. It has the largest number of girl-child brides, and other children under difficult circumstances. It has the largest number of persons living below the poverty line. It has the smallest number of educated Nigerians, and the highest number of Nigeria’s “lazy youths.” Reno Omokri throws up the questions: why don’t we have the Northern rich, as many of them as possible, helping their own people? Why must it be a Yoruba man from Epe donating N5 billion to assist displaced children in the North East? Our response to Reno Omokri is that philanthropy needs not wear an ethnic or partisan garb. It is about the collective humanity we share. Isn’t Reno Omokri himself running a #Free LeahSharibu campaign? Leah Sharibu is neither a member of his church nor is she of the Itsekiri stock. Bill and Melinda Gates, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Oprah Winfrey, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg have supported worthy causes around the world.
What we may legitimately say is that the example of Femi Otedola and others like him necessarily generates a conversation about the purpose of wealth and the place of the privileged in a dispossessed society. Aliko Dangote who made his own donation to the Save the Children charity is probably the leading philanthropist in Nigeria today, in terms of spread and scope, through the Dangote Foundation, which is run by his daughter, Halima Dangote. Dangote appeared on stage recently in New York, with Mo Ibrahim and Bill Gates and he said he is inspired by their examples. Mo Ibrahim, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are among the most generous givers in modern history. It is an ethic that should be encouraged. Closer home in Nigeria, there are other examples: Tony Elumelu, of the Union Bank of Africa (UBA) is the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation which promotes Africapitalism and provides opportunities for young entrepreneurs in more than 40 African countries. What TOE, as he is otherwise called, has done with that Foundation is impressive and reliable. Jim Ovia is the founder of Zenith Bank. He has invested heavily in education, not for profit, but to provide opportunities for young persons. He is the founder of James Hope College, a world-class, private school in Agbor, Delta State where he tries to provide a strong, educational foundation for the youth of tomorrow. Recently, he launched a branch of the school in Lagos with an offer of full scholarship to 40% of students. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, of Access Bank and Coronation Capital, has a scheme called Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG). Every year, AIG sends five students from Nigeria and Ghana to the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, to take post-graduate degrees in Public Policy. He believes that when they return and they are injected into the public sector, over time a crop of well-trained experts would have been created to act as agents for public sector transformation in Africa. The scholarships are fully funded. There are other philanthropists of course who intervene in their own way – like Professor Pat Utomi who supports widows, Florence Ita-Giwa who provides for the poor in Bakassi, Sir Emeka Offor, Mr. Oba Otudeko, Folorunsho Alakija, Otunba Subomi Balogun… We can have more people in this country willing to give back and help. Reno Omokri may have been direct in his finger-pointing but there is certainly a large community of rich Nigerians out there who do not know what it means to be public-spirited. They are happy to go about in private jets: it costs about US $4 million per annum to maintain a private jet in Nigeria (Otedola’s N5 billion donation is the cost of maintaining a private jet for about 4 years) and yet most of the nouveaux riche are much happier going about in those jets with girls with long legs, fake skin, fake eye lashes, Brazilian butt-lifts, fake accent, and small brains, rather than help the poor. Their type can be found across Nigeria.
But it is not enough to make donations or set up a Foundation. There must be transparency and accountability in the management of funds and processes. Sustainability is important. Too many Foundations rise and fall. We hope Femi Otedola and his daughters will find every reason to sustain their new-found passion.
by Reuben Abati