Becomes largest African donor
By Chineme Okafor
Philanthropist and Vice-Chairman of Chrome Group, Mr. Emeka Offor, has assumed the status of Africa’s single largest donor to the Rotary International with an endowment of $1.31 million into four different causes of the charity organisation.
The endowment, which has also elevated Offor into the prestigious status of the Arch C. Klumph Society (AKS) reserved for highest donors to the Rotary cause, will be invested in further pursuit of global peace at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, eradication of polio and guinea worm across the globe and Nigeria in particular, maternal and child mortality rate as well as women empowerment programmes.
Offor, who was honoured at a ceremony during the weekend in Abuja by Rotary International District 9125, Nigeria, became the fourth Nigerian to be inducted into Rotary’s AKS, other Nigerians are former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Mike Omotosho and Kenneth Gbagi; they have variously and singly contributed more than $250,000 to the Rotary cause.
Governor of District 9125, Felix Obadan, in his remarks explained that Offor’s contribution to Rotary International has come as the biggest from an African so far, adding that Rotary will in October further honour him with the first ever Nigerian Day at its Evanston Illinois headquarters in the United States.
Obadan noted that Offor had consistently identified with humanitarian causes, adding that Rotary International was pleased to have him within its midst.
“Working on the principle that the very poor and needy can become active and productive members of the society if properly equipped, Mr. Emeka Offor had established a charitable foundation two years ago and is committed to human and material capacity development, skill acquisition and transfer at the grassroots level leading to the establishment of small and medium enterprises and cooperative societies for the less privileged.
His contribution will afford scholars at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok to continue to learn issues on peace and conflict resolution, it will afford the organisation the opportunity to play its part in the eradication of polio and guinea worm as well as infant and maternal mortality; his name will be in the annals of history as one of those that eradicated these menaces,” Obadan said in his citation of Offor.
Also in his commendation letter to Offor as read by past Rotary International President, Jon Majiyagbe, the Chairman of Rotary International Foundation, Wilfrid Wilkinson said: “Your exceedingly generous gifts will help to bring about peace throughout the world, will provide opportunities for children to be educated and will help bring about healthier mothers and children.
When Nigeria is removed from the list of polio endemic countries, you will have the joy of knowing that you assisted in attaining that special milestone. Thank you for all your gifts.”
Offor in his acceptance remarks stated that he will continue on the path of humanitarian gesture, adding that he had followed the activities of Rotary International with keen interest; he equally donated about N93 million to District 9125 with contributions from his associates.