When in November 2019 billionaire businessman Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Geregu Power Plc, announced an unprecedented N5 billion donation to the Save The Children Foundation, a charity platform to improve the welfare of Nigeria’s vulnerable and marginalized children, the news of the humongous donation swept across Nigeria and overseas.
This was because it was considered the highest donation ever made by an individual to charity in Nigeria.
Of course, prior to that, the former Chairman of Forte Oil had graced the covers of newspapers and magazines in and outside the country when he also gave a whopping $50,000 for the Leukemia operation of ex-Super Eagles coach, Christian Chukwu.
Tinsel actor, Victor Olaotan, was saved by a $100,000 (N36 million) donation from Otedola, while he helped ailing 72-year-old ex-Super Eagles goalkeeper Peter Fregene to be flown to Lagos for property treatment at the highbrow Reddington Hospital.
Reggae superstar, Majek Fashek, as well as Sadiq Daba, an actor, are some of the countless beneficiaries of his magnanimity.
In December 2018, Otedola donated $6 million to construct a multi-storey building at the Augustine University in Epe, Lagos.
Indeed, there is no gainsaying the fact that giving has become a way of life for the Lagos State-born billionaire.
It is, therefore, not surprising that he has continued to be garlanded and awarded for his philanthropic gestures at home and abroad.
Earlier in the year, Otedola, based on people’s choice, was voted ThisDay Philanthropist of the Decade.
As if that was not enough, he was again honoured by Silverbird Group as its Man of the Year, 2019, two weeks ago.
As the nation’s media industry was preparing to celebrate the award, the billionaire, who can be described as a citizen of the world, received another honour from South Africa. He won the 2019 African Philanthropist of the Year by respected African Leadership magazine for his unequalled philanthropy and charitable contributions to society.
At the African Leadership Persons of the Year Investiture Ceremonies and Awards gala night held in Johannesburg, South Africa penultimate Saturday, Otedola’s famous daughter, DJ Cuppy received the award from the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on his behalf.
The 57-year-old billionaire shared the news on Instagram with a message: “It is an honour to receive the 2019 African Person of the Year award for philanthropy and charitable contributions to society. Yesterday night, DJ CUPPY represented me in accepting this prestigious award from Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, President African Development Bank in Johannesburg, South Africa.”