By Enyeribe Ejiogu

 

Leading indigenous Oil & Gas engineering services entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sir Emeka Okwuosa, has restated the commitment of his foundation to addressing deficiencies and rot in the Nigerian educational and healthcare sectors.

He reaffirmed this in his remarks during the Gala Night held in Lagos by the Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation (SEOF), to commemorate the accomplishments of the philanthropic organisation across the country in the areas of healthcare, education and socio-economic empowerment.

Okwuosa revealed that his passion for philanthropy began with his parents, who in the 70s and 80s, extended help to others in various ways. He added that his parents displayed selflessness in all their endeavours for their community, which helped to instil in him a sense of purpose that has been guiding him throughout his life.

He expressed sadness over the lingering strain on Nigeria’s economy, infrastructure, and food insecurity.

Okwuosa lamented that an estimated 20 million Nigerian children, aged 6 to 18, are currently without access to education and that the soaring unemployment rate is pushing the youth into vulnerable positions.

“Witnessing my fellow Nigerians endure such hardships without attempting to alleviate their suffering is something I find impossible,” he said.

The SEOF chairman stated that the mission and vision of the foundation align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting the foundation has been impacting lives and communities in over 14 states in Nigeria: Anambra, Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna, Abuja (FCT), Kogi, Oyo, Ekiti, Edo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Imo, and Abia.

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Okwuosa added that through their partnership with the Texas-based Vincent Ohaju Obioma Memorial (VOOM) Foundation, they have been able to provide subsidised and free healthcare services to over 4,000 individuals across Nigeria, including a nine months old infant.

Furthermore, he explained how primary and university students have benefited from the scholarship programmes of the foundation over the years through gender equality advocacy, and organising career workshops and symposia that introduce young girls to STEM career paths.

 

Okwuosa expressed joy that the socio-economic impacts of the foundation have helped many individuals and communities to earn a modest living. Some of the socio-economic initiatives include the construction of garri processing plants, donation of motorcycles, and the provision of employment and other opportunities.

In 2024, will introduce other programmes such as the Women Enterprise Programme and the Agro Cluster Cooperative Programme that will help individuals and families improve their lives and businesses.

Also speaking, a member of SEOF Board of Trustees, Okwuosa-Nwadei, emphasised that lifting people and communities has always driven the work being done by the foundation, to sustainably impact the lives of individuals they encounter.

She said that the funds raised from the Gala Night would go into their various programmes to continue to create sustainable change in more communities across Nigeria.

During the event, the artworks of Janet Adebayo, and Kanye Okeke (a 13-year-old boy living with autism) were auctioned. Mr and Mrs Tagbo Okeke, parents of the Kanye, appreciated Sir Emeka Okwuosa for supporting their son’s art and craft, and sponsoring his works in international exhibitions.

In some documentaries played at the event, some of the trustees, staff, and beneficiaries of SOEF shared their stories, encounters and experiences of how the foundation had impacted them and their communities.  


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