Tony Elumelu Mourns With Sierra Leone, Donates $500,000
Nigerian banker, philanthropist and Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu has donated $500,000 to Sierra Leone to help alleviate the suffering of people affected by flood and mudslide in the country.
Elumelu made the donation to Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday during a visit to the West African country. Along with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Elumelu visited survivors at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown, the country’s capital after which they proceeded to Sierra Leonean Statehouse
At the state house, Elumelu made a donation of USD$250,000 on behalf of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and another USD$250,000 on behalf of staff, management and Directors of United Bank for Africa (UBA) as emergency aid grants for victims of the mudslides.
While speaking in solidarity with Sierra Leone, Elumelu charged the world and the African private sector to support the ongoing rehabilitation and relief efforts. “For me, the little token we are giving is what it is, little, but symbolic. At a time like this, the world must come together to support the victims of this unfortunate disaster. It is not a situation that one prays to be in, but in the event that it does happen, we should all rally to support one another.”
Continuing, he urged the rest of the world not to turn a blind eye to Sierra Leone’s plight: “We have on our hands a humanitarian disaster of high proportions. It requires the attention of the entire world. We have buried over 600 lives and many hundreds more are still missing. We must turn the global spotlight on Africa. The world must stand with Africa just as in the past, Africa has stood with the world.”
The UBA Chairman reassured Sierra Leoneans of the Bank’s steadfast support. “United Bank for Africa (UBA) will continue to play its role in helping small and medium scale enterprises, and women, especially from the affected areas, to enable them rebuild their economic lives.
The Sierra Leonean President, who couldn’t hide his appreciation, commended Elumelu for his tenacious contribution in the country’s times of need, stating: “In you we have a brother and someone we can rely on.” He praised the consistency of the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). “You have always provided us with support. United Bank for Africa (UBA) was here immediately after the war to provide us with banking services to support our rebuilding efforts.
Again, during our fight against Ebola, you were here through the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and provided us with great support. And now again, you have come to support us.”
Elumelu’s donation will support the victims, some of whom are in hospital needing food, clothing and medicine. The much-needed assistance will also go towards the ongoing recovery efforts and the construction of permanent settlements for the affected persons.
The Sierra Leonean mudslides is the third catastrophe to devastate the West African country in the past two decades.