Recently, there has been a spike in narratives around philanthropy – the word, the main actors, and their activities in Nigeria. This fast-rising term borders on the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money and other items to good causes.
Philanthropic efforts are geared towards solving problems, filling developmental gaps, and ensuring no one is left behind. The problem that needs solving can be big or small, the method simple or complicated but the goal is always the same, to do good. This is the whole purpose of philanthropy – to do good.
The world of philanthropy is growing. It is getting more dynamic, complex, and technology-driven following drastic advancements in technology and global pandemics. Despite these changes, there are real reasons why more people are committing to philanthropy as a life work. Whether these reasons are altruistic or not is another kettle of fish. Philanthropy is by people for people and largely about people.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation, boasts of some quiet, unassuming philanthropists who have been active in this space and continue to remain relevant. Tunde Folawiyo and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede are exemplary in this regard.
In 2020, following the establishment of the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF or the Fund), a private sector-led not-for-profit organization born out of a partnership between the Global Citizen, an international advocacy organization, and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), two directors, Tunde Folawiyo and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede mobilized the sum of N500 million each to set up the fund under the able management of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
Today, the Fund has in place all the necessary governance structures to carry out its core objectives of supporting vulnerable Nigerians, strengthening the healthcare sector, and reskilling the workforce for a post-pandemic era.
It maintains an appropriate sense of transparency, accountability, and responsibility at all times. This should not surprise any observer as the duo are experienced boardroom executives and technocrats with a keen understanding of ethics, corporate governance, and best practices.
Governed by a Statutory Board made up of experienced and reputable board members – Tunde Folawiyo (chairman), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Uche Orji, and Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli – donations are mobilized from ordinary citizens, philanthropists, donor organizations, business, and government.
Funds raised are being independently managed by NSIA and audited by KPMG to ensure that all contributions are responsibly administered to have the greatest possible impact in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and lessening its effects. Grant administration is executed by Price Waterhouse Coopers while monitoring and evaluation are conducted by KPMG.
This unique initiative proved itself once again at the recently concluded fundraising event themed “Lend a Hand” where over 40 individuals and corporates (at home and in the diaspora) tagged ‘NSSF Guardians” gathered and raised the sum of N100 million. It is the first of many activities lined up to galvanize action from well-meaning individuals and corporates to join the good cause of getting more Nigerians vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic in the quickest time possible.
At this event, guardians such as Oando, Ernest & Young, Channels TV, Heights Access Nigeria Ltd, SO&U, Emadeb Energy, Ardova Plc, Wellbeing Foundation, Sparkle, Coronation Group, Stanbic IBTC Holding, KPMG also pledged their support, in-kind as well as in-cash to this initiative.
Applauding the leadership of the NSSF for its determined stride to champion the vaccine advocacy in Nigeria, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando, Wale Tinubu while pledging the sum of N20m, stated
“If there is anything Covid-19 has made apparent to the world, it’s how much more we can do when coming together as a collective. The speed with which this collective has risen to fight the pandemic and, in the process, protect the most vulnerable amongst us is truly uplifting. Well done and we will continue to support your work towards positively impacting the lives of Nigerians’’.
The NSSF is now well established and N1.11 billion has been raised thus far. We need to build on this and grow the fund towards its goal of N2 billion yearly. Funds will be used to reduce vaccine inequity and ensure that Nigerians are well informed about the need for the vaccine, reskill the workforce and support vulnerable Nigerians.
The fund can only carry out its goal through active collaboration with others, that is why it is working with carefully selected partners like the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to ensure equitable distribution and application of the vaccinations as well as adequate education and awareness on the benefits of getting vaccinated.
This is the flincher, Nigerians from walks of life can support Nigeria through the NSSF. Well-meaning and philanthropic individuals, corporate organizations, Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, public sector institutions, and international donor agencies can make donations to the NSSF. No amount is too small or too big.
It is quick and easy to support the NSSF by pledging your support and actively making a difference, in the following ways:
- Donate: Support the NSSF movement by donating at https://nigeriasolidarityfund.ng/donate/. All donations will be used to acquire vaccines and run educational programs about vaccinations.
- Share: Spread the NSSF message across social media and WhatsApp.
- Pledge: Become an advocate of our mission and take a pledge to support the fund.
- Corporate Support: Corporate support is critical to the mission to vaccinate Nigerians.
The quiet and gentle duo continues to soldier on. Tunde Folawiyo, a scion of the famous Folawiyo family in Lagos Nigeria, is the Chairman of Global Citizen Nigeria. He has been honored with various positions that allow him to implement a variety of initiatives to promote the success of the African youth. With his work as a Goodwill Ambassador and his involvement as a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s World Fellowship, a global network of philanthropists focused on encouraging youth development, Tunde Folawiyo has made great strides in fostering tomorrow’s leaders.
An impact philanthropist, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede is the founder and chairman of the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), an independent not-for-profit established to be a catalyst for transforming public sector leadership in West Africa. Other civic engagements include his roles as Vice-Chair of Global Citizen Nigeria, Co-Chairman of the Board of GBCHealth, Chairman of ABCHealth, a member of the board of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Co-Founder, Private Sector Alliance for Health in Nigeria, and a member of the International Advisory Board of Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government.
Folawiyo and Aig-Imoukhuede are authentic philanthropists. They understand the value of working with others to achieve set objectives. Compassion, collaboration, and cooperation are the fulcra of their actions.
To find out more about the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF), visit the website at www.nigeriasolidaritysupportfund.ng