When Chinese billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, announced his intention to support Africa’s fight against Covid-19 by donating essential medical supplies, Nigerians reacted with immense gratitude.
And then almost immediately, the attention shifted to Nigeria’s own billionaires. Nigerians wanted to know what the country’s top business elites were doing to support their country which, unfortunately, is one of those hat have been plagued by the pandemic.
A couple of days later, the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 was announced as the umbrella body under which industrialists and corporate organizations would donate funds to support efforts in combating the contagious virus.
Fast-forward to a fortnight later, the donations have grossed N15.325 billion, thanks to the magnanimity of almost 40 donors comprising of individuals and corporate bodies.
Let’s now focus on some of the top Nigerian billionaires who rose to the occasion and contributed to the good cause.
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The successful businessman rose to the occasion by collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria to lead the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19. The purpose of the coalition was to mobilise private sector leadership and resources to increase general public awareness and provide support to healthcare facilities during the crisis.
He also teamed up with Access Bank Plc to provide treatment, testing, training and isolation centers across the country.
Aliko Dangote then made a personal donation of N2 billion to support the cause.
The famous industrialist has consistently maintained his position on top of Forbes Africa’s list of richest Africans. As the majority owner of Dangote Industries Ltd, Aliko Dangote is a force to reckon with in the business world.
Mr. Otedola announced his donation of N1 billion to the relief fund via his Instagram and Twitter handles. According to him, “We must all do what we can to flatten the curve.”
?? …F.Ote? pic.twitter.com/kC3tsxmBl9
— Femi Ote$ (@realFemiOtedola) March 27, 2020
Femi Otedola was the Chairman of Forte Oil Plc (now Ardova Plc) until early 2019 when he divested his stakeholding in the oil and gas company.
With an estimated net worth that is close to $1 billion, Femi Otedola is known for his generosity. Not too long ago, he donated N5 billion to the Save the Children Foundation to support destitute children in Nigeria’s Northeast region.
Rabiu made a cash donation of 1 billion Naira through the BUA foundation and took it a step further by placing orders for additional equipment and medical supplies including testing kits and protective gear to nine states across the country: Lagos, Kano, Adamawa, Edo, Kwara, Rivers, Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Sokoto.
“Each of these nine states will receive about 100,000 protective facemasks, 1000 high-grade medical protection and isolation gear, 2000 protective goggles, 1000 gloves and 1000 testing kits among other things,” Rabiu stated.”
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a conglomerate that engages in the sugar refining, cement manufacturing, real estate, and port operations.
He is the third richest man in Nigeria, according to Forbes with $3.13 billion net worth.
Note that BUA Group also made a separate donation of N300 million to Sokoto, Edo and Ogun States to help trigger a coordinated response in the fight against COVID-19. BUA Cement has its major operations in the beneficiary states, even as Ogun State was selected as a beneficiary due to its proximity to Lagos, the epicenter of the Coronavirus in Nigeria.
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Africa’s second richest woman donated the sum of N1 billion. The donation was made through Famfa oil, which she owns, and with the name Modupe and Folorunsho Alakija.
— Folorunso Alakija (@alakijaofficial) March 30, 2020
Her tweet provided a breakdown of how the money is to be allocated:
- N250 million to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Government each.
- The remainder of the funds is to be shared among African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious diseases, frontline health workers in Lagos and Abuja, the supply of medical equipment to the relevant organizations and the Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (DRASA) health trust.
Folorunsho Alakija is the founder of Famfa Oil. She also has business interests in fashion and printing, and is estimated to be worth $1 billion according to Forbes.
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This successful businessman and Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc made a personal donation of N1 billion to support the fight against COVID-19.
This is besides the N5 billion which was donated by UBA Group. While commenting on these donations, Elumelu said:
“We commend the efforts of governments and we are keen to partner and contribute our resources to the collective effort, that will ensure the response to the pandemic is swift and effective.”
The businessman is an economist and entrepreneur with investments in Heir Holdings, United Bank for Africa Plc, and Transcorp. He is also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. He has a net worth of about $900 million as of January 2020.
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This billionaire also donated the sum of N1 billion. He is the founder of Visafone Communications Ltd which was later acquired by MTN. He currently serves as the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc and has a net worth of $870 million.
The chairman of FBN Holdings Plc and founder of Honeywell Group donated the sum of N1 billion to the CACOVID relief fund. The man has a net worth of over half a million dollars.
Segun Agbaje of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank have also donated N1 billion each.