It is believed to be the single largest individual donation to charity in Nigeria’s history.
“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,” said the Nigerian businessman, philanthropist, and former chairman of Forte Oil PLC, an importer of fuel products.
Otedola is the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, and the owner of a number of other businesses across shipping, real estate and finance. He has recently invested in power generation as part of the liberalisation of the sector in Nigeria.
The donation was made through his daughter, DJ Cuppy’s Foundation, to support various intervention programs for destitute children in Nigeria’s north-east region battered by Boko Haram insurgency, banditry and drought.
Local newspapers said Otedola made the donation at a ceremony organized by the Cuppy Foundation in Abuja to raise funds for Save the Children. Cuppy Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Otedola’s daughter, Florence Otedola (aka DJ Cuppy).
The charity works to improve the welfare of Nigeria’s vulnerable and marginalized children. It focuses on early childhood education and healthcare among numerous other programs.
Forbes reported that “Otedola’s eldest daughter, Tolani Otedola, first mounted the stage and announced the gift on behalf of her father. Afterwards, he made a speech himself. In his speech, Otedola noted that the persistent crisis in Nigeria’s northeast region which is the result of armed conflict between state actors and non-state armed groups, has produced widespread unrest for many civilians and rendered millions of children in need of humanitarian assistance. He called on other wealthy Nigerians to emulate his actions”.
Kevin Watkins, the CEO of Save The Children, pledged that every penny out of it would be spent improving the lives of the children affected by insurgency in the northeast.
Otedola’s donation will be managed by the Save The Children Fund and will be used to finance various intervention programs for children in Borno, Adamawa and Katsina.
Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osibanjo who was the guest of honor at the ceremony commended Otedola’s generosity and told the guests at the event that Nigeria’s richest people must refocus their minds on caring for Nigeria’s poor, Forbes reported.