By Sunday Okobi
Hundreds of individuals, corporate bodies and celebrities trooped out on the street of Lagos last weekend (May 14) to run against kin in the third edition of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Corporate Challenge tagged ‘e-Race Cancer’.
The race which was organised by NSE in conjunction with the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) started at the Muri-Okunola Park, Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island aimed at raising awareness and funds for the purchase of 37 Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs).
Over 600 runners from 100 companies participated in the race that saw Paul Alabi from Aluko & Oyebode emerge the overall winner of this edition of the NSE Corporate Challenge race.
Anolue Uzochukwu from Cutix Plc and Austin Ani from Stanbic IBTC came second and third respectively, while Esther Obiekwe from Diamond Bank emerge the fastest female, and Rene Gabriel from Nigerian Breweries came first in the senior citizen category.
Meanwhile, as its contribution towards the fight against cancer in Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, has announced its support to a cancer awareness initiative tagged ‘e-Race Cancer’ organised by NSE.
Commenting on the telco’s support to the initiative, Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Oparah, said Airtel Nigeria is committed to partnering credible organisations and platforms to improve the quality of lives of Nigerians.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, said: “At the NSE, we are determined to increase cancer survival rates in Nigeria by delivering Mobile Cancer Centres to provide free screening and treatment across Nigeria.
“For this reason, we came up with the NSE Corporate Challenge to support those who are affected with cancer. It is heartening to see so many people step up to help those afflicted with cancer. The tremendous support shown by the community this year is evident from the overwhelming number of people who came out to run and volunteers who assisted. I would like to thank everyone for supporting this cause.”
Onyema added: “I encourage all of you to get informed on cancer prevention and control and to raise awareness and reduce cancer risks. I am also using this platform to call on government at all levels, institutions and individuals to join this action with the goal of multiplying efforts to save lives, and to support initiatives aimed at fighting this dreadful disease.
“It is precisely because every human life counts that the fight against cancer must be undertaken collectively.”
The NSE Corporate Challenge race is a professionally organised and volunteer-driven initiative involving companies listed on the NSE broker dealer firms, non-listed companies and individuals who identify with the initiative.
“This year, we worked in close partnership with various sponsors, media partners and volunteers including Stanbic IBTC Bank, Lafarge, Diamond Bank, FCMB, Union Bank of Nigeria, Seplat, Julius Berger, Heritage Bank, BusinessDay Newspaper, Channels Television, AIT, Nigeria Info FM, Rainbow FM, FRCN, Radio Continental, TVC, CNBC Africa, Proshare, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency and Spar Nigeria.
“The 2016 NSE Corporate Challenge also had Ali Baba, Burna Boy, Seyi Shay, Marcy Dolapo Oni, Gideon Okeke as well as Praize and TK from Chocolate City as race ambassadors.
The contributions of these companies and individuals assisted in making the event a resounding success,” he remarked.
However, Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Oparah, said Airtel’s support for the ‘eRace Cancer’ is a demonstration of its commitment to Nigerians, noting that health intervention is one of the key pillars of Airtel’s CRS programmes for Nigerians.