Abuja, Nigeria, 18 March 2013 – To maximize the benefits of their generosity, wealthy Nigerians need to be more strategic in their giving, to create a bigger impact and leave a lasting legacy.
This was the view of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the inaugural Nigeria Philanthropy Summit which she co-hosted with the Tony Elumelu Foundation. The summit was attended by high net worth individuals (HNIs) from around the world who were there to discuss philanthropy as a strategic tool for sustainable development.
Guests included Christopher Chandler, CEO, Legatum Group; Jane Wales, President and CEO, Global Philanthropy Forum; Cosmos Maduka, President and CEO, Coscharis Motors; and Uche Orji, CEO, Sovereign Wealth Fund.
The summit, which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, is the first of its kind to be organized in Nigeria, highlighting the rising importance of philanthropic engagement that creates effective long term solutions to social issues.
Vice President Namadi Sambo, who opened the summit said, “This event is a critical step in the process that will help define a strategy for philanthropy in Nigeria. Today, we will begin to develop a future that signals a new era where philanthropy becomes an intrinsic part of this country’s transformation.”
“Nigerians are a generous people. Giving is part of our culture and intrinsic to our religious beliefs,” said Dr. Okonjo-Iweala. “But it’s important to give in a strategic way that not only delivers positive impact, but is also sustainable. Today is about starting an important conversation with high net worth Nigerians which will lead to a better way of giving, to improve our collective welfare.”
Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, whose foundation has been engaged in strategic philanthropy since its inception three years ago, has partnered with the minister in this initiative. His aim is to educate and promote strategic philanthropic interventions.
Mr. Elumelu said, “Catalytic philanthropy requires us to think more strategically about applying personal wealth. Wealthy Nigerians should move beyond traditional forms of philanthropy to one where our interventions have a significant and long term impact. This is what will create social wealth and economic prosperity for all Nigerians.”