A Fund aimed at revitalising the economies affected by conflicts and disasters in Nigeria has been inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan, with a donation of N250 million to help it achieve its goals.
The Fund, Elumelu Nigeria Empowerment Fund according to its managers, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, will be used to transform economies ravaged by natural disasters and conflicts across the country.
“I am pleased to join you for the launch of the Elumelu Nigeria Empowerment Fund. From what I gathered, the Fund will provide interventions focused on the medium and long term needs of post-conflict and post-disaster communities,” said Jonathan at the launch, which held at the Presidential Villa.
The president thanked Tony Elumelu and the Fund’s Board for their vision and sense of responsibility toward the needy, pledging full support and cooperation of the federal government.
“This will be achieved by revitalising their socio-economic and environmental fabric as it relates to the four core pillars of Social welfare, enterprenurship, reconstruction and environmental management.
“I believe that through carefully selected Nigerians and international partnerships, the Fund will bring economic opportunities, sustainable development and empowerment to communities,” the president said.
He also expressed appreciation to Elumelu and other partners, who contributed to the Victims Support Fund which was launched by him in July to help the victims of insurgency in the north east, noting that their generosity showed how much the private and public sectors could achieve collaborating for national transformation.
“No doubt, the Elumelu Nigeria Empowerment Fund is a welcome partner organisation to compliment and follow-up from the immediate relief efforts of the Federal Government, relevant ministries, departments and other agencies and relief organisations.
“As they partner with others to revive and create sustainable programmes in benefiting communities across our country, it is my fervent prayer that this will help to rebuild peace in the heart of our people.
“I also believe that such efforts should help to restore hope for a brighter future for families and communities.
Elumelu said Jonathan’s Victims Support Fund inspired the new Fund, as a way of helping people have better lives, post-conflict.
He said the Fund was created out of the N2.5 billion donated by the Tony Elumelu Foundation and companies under Heirs Holdings.
Out of the N2.5 billion, Elumelu explained that N1 billion was disbursed to the Victim Support Fund. According to him, the remaining N1.5 billion would now serve as the seeding for the fund.
He therefore called on well-meaning individuals, groups and corporate bodies to support the Fund.