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Updated: Otedola donates N5bn for North-East intervention

...commits life to philanthropy, helping the underprivileged

Billionaire entrepreneur and executive chairman of Geregu Power plc, Femi Otedola, has donated N5 billion to Save the Children charity to support its intervention in the North-East Nigeria.

Otedola made the donation on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at a ball organised by the Cuppy Foundation to raise funds for Save the Children, the 100-year-old United Kingdom-based charity which is the biggest children-focused organisation in the world after UNICEF.

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Cuppy Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola (aka DJ Cuppy), Femi Otedola’s daughter.

Otedola, while making his presentation at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, said he has decided to devote the rest of his life to philanthropy because of what God has done in his life.

“God has been so kind to me in life and I feel highly privileged. 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,” Otedola said.

“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,” he said.

DJ Cuppy, who is a Board Ambassador for Save the Children and a member of the organisation’s Africa Advisory Board, said it was emotional for her to see people from all over the world attend the inaugural gala night.
“I stand before you with a big vision for our country and the less privileged. I founded the Cuppy Foundation to give to the less privileged in our society and for people living with disability,” she said.

She said the idea for the gala came two months ago when she visited Maiduguri and met a sick girl that urgently needed blood transfusion.

“There were many unfortunate children like that. Some were even unlucky and they died. The experience was shocking for me. My heart broke. Ever since, my determination to serve the Nigerian children has been ingrained. I need help from you to help me in fulfilling my calling, not just as a DJ, but as a philanthropist,” DJ Cuppy said.

The event was designed to focus on conversations based around some of Save the Children’s initiatives such as bettering the lives of children in Nigeria who are in conflict and also tackling malnutrition. The gala featured various segments including an auction packed with unique items, a cocktail reception and a private dinner with special performances.

“This is just a start in driving awareness and creating change for our precious Nigerian children. Save the Children believes children are our future – they are, and the future is now,” she said at the event.

The event was well attended, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo leading the pack. The roll call included Adams Oshiomhole, APC national chairman, Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, Wale Tinubu, managing director of Oando, Nuhu Ribadu, former EFCC chairman, state governors, ministers, among others.

Otedola, a well-regarded philanthropist, has in the past donated to good causes. In 2005, he instituted a N200 million scholarship for Lagos State undergraduates. In the same year he donated N300 million for the completion of the National Ecumenical Centre in Abuja.

Otedola at various times donated N100 million to the Lagos State College of Primary Education, N100 million to the Central Mosque, Ilorin (Kwara State), and N100 million to the University of Port Harcourt (Rivers State).

He has committed to building and donating a faculty of engineering valued at N2 billion to the Augustine University in his hometown, Epe, Lagos State.

Recently, he made life-saving interventions by footing the medical bills of Christian Chukwu, former captain and coach of Super Eagles; Peter Fregene, former international goalkeeper; Majek Fashek, celebrated Reggae artiste, as well as Sadiq Daba and Victor Olaotan, veteran actors.

Save the Children was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 in order to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as provide emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. The organisation operates in over 120 countries around the world.

Save the Children is working in Nigeria because one in five children in Nigeria dies before their fifth birthday. About 40 percent of children miss out on school and have to work to survive while nearly 2 million children have lost one or both parents to an AIDS-related disease.


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