Perhaps alarmed by the latest statistics by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as some other global bodies on the crushing poverty across the country (READ MORE), now growing a dizzying rate, chairman of 125-year old First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, on Sunday in Lagos, challenged Nigeria’s political and business leaders to channel their services and wealth to the good of the less privileged in the society.
Speaking as a guest speaker at the investiture of Rotarian Nkiruka Akarutu-Balogun, as the 35th President of the Rotary Club of Ikoyi, and the inauguration of its board of directors, Awosika cautioned against the current crave for unguided wealth acquisition even at the detriment of the nation’ well-being and of its citizenry.
She lamented a situation where the wealthy acquire more than they need in their ‘short’ lifespan, forgetting God’s grace, and the importance of using such for the betterment of the society and particularly the poor and less privileged.
She stressed that it only through dedication to serve the nation can develop at the expected pace, reminding all of the mortality of human life and the need to touch lives and hearts positively within the period.
“When you choose to bring laughter to people, as a matter of natural law, you will not lack laughter in your own family. Life has a time frame, and so at a particular stage or time, you must go so you need to share now that you are alive. It is God that ultimately gives the power to make wealth and so whatever we have in terms of wealth, we hold in trust for him. It is wiser to give because those who give live happier and healthier”, she said.
Speaking after her investiture, Akarutu-Balogun recalled joining the Rotary Club because of a burning desire to bring succour to people across the globe, adding that her heart bleeds when she sees people live in degrading squalor and unpardonable deprivation to which many people are confined to in Nigeria and Africa at large.
“I found in Rotary a platform to fulfil that growing urge. One of the things I really cherish in Rotary is our selflessness. We do not seek to outdo our predecessors; we simply project Rotary ideologies as we add value to humanity. We build on golden blocks of our past leaders and their illustrious regimes. It is in this spirit that I call on every Rotarian to join hands with this regime to face the tasks ahead and fulfil the noble philosophy behind Rotary Club, which is service to humanity”, she said.
Some of the projects to be executed by the club this year include the continuation of the building of a Blood Donor Centre at the Police Hospital Falomo and the provision of the community service “dream bus” for reaching to people in need.
On her part, the immediate past President, Rotarian Adetoun Agbe-Davies, while speaking, highlighted some of the projects executed in the past one year to include support for routine immunization and strengthening of immunisation/ child health/reproductive health in Eti-Osa Local Government, increase in safe blood in Lagos by supporting the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services.
Others include basic life support training for 20 health workers in the Police Medical Service s and 10 health workers involved in immunization activities in Eti-Osa LGA in July 2018 and April 2019 as well as the donation of 100 Lagos State Ministry of Education-approved dictionaries to Davidhall College, Ikoyi, among several others.