Since billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, shattered all records in charity in Nigeria with a humongous donation of N5 billion to the Save the Children Foundation, many are still discussing the gesture with interest. To some, this humanitarian gesture sounds so “unbelievable”. To others, it is a publicity stunt.
But what is incontrovertible is that people who express these views do not see the truth in Francis Bacon’s saying that “though charity may begin at home, it shouldn’t end there.”
Femi Otedola, in giving to the cause of humanity, believes it is far better and more gratifying to make a difference in the lives of the poor. He, “God has been so kind to me in life. “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.
“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. A lot of people think when they die, they take their money with them, we’ll see.
“In my journey of life, I have taken the risk, I’ve done the chase, I’ve enjoyed the thrill and I have achieved success and recognition. What next? You give it back!”
A source told Society Watch that many are not aware that the executive chairman of Geregu Power Plc is one businessman “who does not owe any bank a dime as of today.
“So, it is quite easy for him to invest his money in humanity without blinking an eye.”
This year alone, he has donated millions of naira to charity, apart from other donations made to former Green Eagles player, Christian Chukwu, Majek Fashek, Nollywood actor, Sadiq Daba, among others. Perhaps, this explains why he was announced last week as the biggest individual donor to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) for 2019.
Speaking at the event tagged, “Transformational Security” in Lagos, the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu , commended him for consistently intervening to improve the society.
The LSSTF has been in existence for 12 years and was set up with the aim of reducing the critical deficiencies in equipment, training and logistics of security agencies operating in Lagos. Donors such as Otedola represent a private version of the legislative process – a deliberative process that selects goals, set values and allocates resources.
It is also interesting that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote once described Otedola, his best friend, as someone who by his selfless giving and living has transcended the level of merely being a rich man. He is certainly a wealthy man and it is from that treasure trove which is far beyond money that he is impacting and will continue to do so.