- Pledges N1bn grant to six Nigerian universities
Abdul Rabiu, Chairman, BUA on Wednesday, announced the establishment of an annual $100 million Africa Endowment Fund starting from 2021 aimed at facilitating social development across Nigeria and the African continent in general.
Dwelling on the fund in an official statement made available to Business A.m, Rabiu stated that the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative Africa Fund Endowment which focuses on infrastructure and capacity development will also encompass education, health and social development sectors in Africa, adding that $50 million will be deployed in Nigeria while the remaining $50million will be disbursed for other African nations.
The Chief Executive Officer of one of Africa’s leading foods and infrastructure conglomerate divulged that the BUA foundation, the philanthropic branch of the company, has been actively involved in corporate philanthropy that covers various sectors including; health, education, community development, water & sanitation and also, played a major role in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic.
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The broad focus of the initiative, he stated, is equipping facilities, researchers, healthcare practitioners and community-level providers, with the aim of providing sustainable solutions for generations to come.
Speaking on the effects of the covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the elderly populace and his personal life, he said; “They say life begins at 50; what they never tell you is that a pandemic can change your life at 60. In that year 2020, when I turned 60, at least two million others turned into memories, taken by this deadly virus. I watched millions become numbers in a global death toll. The plans I once took time to construct, now take up all my time.”
The challenges, according to Rabiu, are manifold in various sectors including education, healthcare and social development, triggering extensive deliberation by the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative over the course of a year.
The BUA boss pledged that the first cohort for Nigeria will be N1 billion each in grants to six universities across the six geopolitical zones in the country, towards the actualisation of development projects which will include the establishment and rehabilitation of infrastructure, where applicable.
The universities to benefit in the phase phase of the project as disclosed in the statement include; Ahmadu Bello University, University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria, University of Benin, University of Ibadan, and University of Ilorin.
Speaking on accountability, Rabiu noted that the initiative will present annual reports, with all activities overseen by a sterling board of trustees. He also called on beneficiaries, end-users and custodians of the projects to hold the initiative into account by contacting, commending, offering recommendations and registering complaints to the official online address- asrafrica.org.
He concluded that over the course of the year, the announcement of funding opportunities worth $50 million for the rest of Africa will be duly made, adding that the organisation is currently in talks with its stakeholders and other active partners involved in the project.