Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, has committed to donating N2.5 billion towards revitalizing distressed Nigerian communities. The announcement was made on Thursday at the Presidential fundraising dinner for the Victims Support Fund, an initiative championed by His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR who officially commissioned the Fund and served as Chief Fundraiser.
The Victims Support Fund has been set up as an independent corporate entity under a governing board chaired by General T.Y. Danjuma (RTD), GCON and Mr. Fola Adeola. The Fund’s primary purpose is to provide assistance to Nigerian communities affected by terrorist activities.
In his remarks at the fundraising dinner, President Goodluck Jonathan stated, “Do not forget the victims of terror and donate generously with cheques, cash, online with credit cards, or via your mobile phone. Every widow’s mite will be appreciated. We cannot deviate from the spirit of good neighborliness that defines us as Nigerians. The terrorists have succeeded in uniting us as they are enemies of all.”
Tony Elumelu thanked the President for taking the initiative to bring the public and private sectors together to address the problem. Speaking on the importance of the Victim Support Fund for Nigeria, Mr. Elumelu stated, “It is important that we all do what we can to provide immediate succor and relief to the victims of this senseless terror that has been unleashed on our country. But these tragedies can – and should – provide an opportunity to change the narrative for the good of the victims and our entire Nigerian family.”
Nigerian public and private sector leaders in attendance made a combined N80 billion in donations, further emphasizing the unity amongst public and private sector leaders in Nigeria in their objective of providing relief to those who have been victims of terrorism in the country.
Of the N2.5 billion that was committed by Tony Elumelu, N1billion has been contributed immediately to the Victims Relief Fund. The additional N1.5 billion that was committed will go towards establishing and endowing a Nigeria Opportunity and Empowerment Fund over the next four years. The Tony Elumelu Foundation will manage the endowment fund to global and professional standards. These funds will be used to make investments and grants that create opportunities and empower the people in communities around Nigeria that have been ravaged by conflict or where fundamental issues of inclusion have to be addressed such as in the Niger Delta Region.
“We want to show that a dynamic and long-term use of capital can create an enabling environment – supporting a generation of entrepreneurs, who themselves can lift a region and a people onward and upward,” stated Elumelu.