The Prodigal Billionaire

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The verdict By Olusegun Adeniyi: Email: olusegun.adeniyi@thisdaylive.com

I didn’t coin that headline, it was used by an online publication to describe Mr. Mohammed Indimi, who recently donated a whopping sum of $14 million (about N5 billion) to Lynn University in the United States to have its International Business Center named after him. For a man who hails from the North-eastern part of the country whose people have been ravaged by poverty and want as a result of Boko Haram activities, I have never heard about any meaningful intervention by Indimi. The CEO of Oriental Oil and Gas whose name features every year in the Forbes List as one of the richest men in Africa is also not known to have supported any worthy cause in Nigeria. Yet, we are talking about a man who made his money from our oil and gas industry that has, for decades, been run on the basis of man-know-man.

While I do not begrudge Indimi his good fortune, it is indefensible that he cannot even invest a fraction of that money at the University of Maiduguri (his hometown) or any other institution of learning in Nigeria. He has to go all the way to Lyn University in the United States for his vanity project, just because two daughters of his graduated from the school. The Mohammed Indimi International Business Center, according to the information on the website of the university, is designed to provide students with the best opportunity “for ingenuity, with incredible options for hands-on, technology-based learning.”

That exactly is the kind of resources we need on our campuses in Nigeria. So, while Indimi’s charity begins abroad, it is my hope that it doesn’t end there!