Showing posts with label NIGERIAN ACHIEVERS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NIGERIAN ACHIEVERS. Show all posts

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sowole creates Pidgin English Bible apps

LAGOS (AFP) – On the streets of Lagos and across God-fearing southern Nigeria, it’s not uncommon to see people with a leather-bound Bible in one hand and a mobile phone in the other.

But the Good Book’s days could be numbered — in printed form at least — if 25-year-old Kayode Sowole’s idea takes off.
The computer science student is the brains behind a series of new smartphone applications to make the word of God available in the country’s four main languages at the touch of a button.

Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and even pidgin English downloads are available, catering to the masses of devout Christians in one of the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone markets.
“With this innovation, you do not need the Internet to read the Bible,” the University of Lagos student told AFP. “Neither do you need to bring a Bible to church.


“You have it in the local language of your choice on your phone.”

Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa versions of the Bible have long been in existence and date from the time of the first missionaries to Nigeria in the 19th century.
Pidgin — the widely spoken patois heard throughout the country — is only a more recent addition.
The pidgin version of the New Testament was formally launched last year by the Christian Association of Nigeria.

- Facebook inspiration -

Sowole cites Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as his guiding light. “Zuckerberg is my hero and I get my inspiration from him. I am towing his line,” he added.
He set about developing the apps in April last year and by October had finished his task. Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa versions have both the Old and New Testament, while the pidgin app only has the latter for now.
One of the most famous Bible passages, John 3:16-17, reads in English: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

In pidgin, it translates as: “Bikos God luv di pipol wey dey dis wold wel-wel, E kon send di onli pikin wey E get to us, so dat enibodi wey biliv am, nor go die, bot e go get life wey nor dey end. “God nor send en pikin kom kondem di pipol wey dey insaid di wold, bot mak e kom save dem.”
- A Nigerian Bill Gates? -
Sowole’s effort won him the best student app category of a competition organised by Nigeria’s largest mobile phone service provider, MTN, and a one million naira ($6,200, 4,475 euro) prize.
Certainly, the app has a ready market: Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with some 170 million people. Evangelical churches dominate the south and religion frames everyday life.
As of February this year, there were some 126 million mobile phone subscriptions, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The growth in telecoms this month saw the government include the sector in the country’s revised gross domestic product calculations for the first time.
But Sowole does not have his eyes on profitability for now. The apps are available to download for free at wazobiabible.com
“I entered the competition to make many people know about my app project, my IT skills and my God-given talent,” said the student, the son of a retired oil worker father and a trader mother.
The accolade and resulting publicity has made him a star on campus and plaudits from his lecturers. “We were all happy for him that he won the prize,” said one of his classmates, Tayo Jabar.
“He is humble and not in any way arrogant. We love him for the fact that he is still the same person even after he has acquired fame.”
Sowole is now working to develop other smartphone applications to suit the Nigerian market, convinced the country could one day provide the world with the next technology tycoon.
“I believe I have not really achieved much. I believe we can have another Bill Gates and other IT giants among the Nigerian youths. I can be one,” he added.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Time’s 100 most influential list, Dangote, Okonjo-Iweala makes list

Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote, and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, have been named among the 100 most influential persons on earth by the Time Magazine.

Microsoft Founder and Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, Mr. Bill Gate, wrote a tribute in honour of Dangote in commemoration of his listing by the magazine.

While Gate was lavish in his praises of timely response of Dangote to the need for a health alliance by the private sector, Buno, a lead singer of U2 and co-founder of One and (RED) wrote Okonjo-Iweala’s tribute.

Gate dwelled extensively on the philanthropic gestures of the President of the Dangote Group in the areas of health, especially polio eradication and job creation.

Gates wrote about Dangote, “His business activities drive economic growth across the continent. That’s impressive, but I know him best as a leader constantly in search of ways to bridge the gap between private business and public health. It’s for that reason he helped create the Nigeria Private Sector Health Alliance. And it’s for that reason he is an advocate for agricultural research and malaria control.”

Dangote was classified in the Titans category, which boasts of eminent world personalities such as the former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; Jeff Bezoz, Tony Fadell and Janet Yellen.

Those in the Pioneers category are Jason Collins, Natalie Massenet, Mary Jo White and Edward Snowden, among others.

Barbara Brown Taylor, Robin Wright, John Green and Kerry Washington were in the Artists category; while Jerry Brown, Okonjo-Iweala, John Kerry and Angela Merkel were listed in the Leaders category.

In the Icons category were Pope Francis, Alice Waters, Marina Abramovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carl Icahn, among others.

The Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by the American news magazine.

First published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians and journalists, the list is now an annual event.(Punchng)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Dangote shares timeless business principle

The richest man in Africa and 23rd in the world, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has shared his timeless business principle. It is a principle he learnt from his grandfather, which has helped grow his business and make him the richest black man on earth with an estimated net worth of $25 billion as of March 2014. He shared the principle on his twitter handle @AlikoDangote, few days ago; “My grandfather once told me; ‘the soul of business is not making money but making people happy” He is the owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities with operations in Nigeria and several other countries in Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and refinery business is the main supplier (70% of the market) to the Nigerias soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually. Apart from these, Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertilizer. The company exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seed and ginger to several countries. It also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles and oil and gas. The company employs over 11,000 people and is the largest industrial conglomerate in the whole of West Africa.

Dangote shares timeless business principle

The richest man in Africa and 23rd in the world, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has shared his timeless business principle. It is a principle he learnt from his grandfather, which has helped grow his business and make him the richest black man on earth with an estimated net worth of $25 billion as of March 2014. He shared the principle on his twitter handle @AlikoDangote, few days ago; “My grandfather once told me; ‘the soul of business is not making money but making people happy” He is the owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities with operations in Nigeria and several other countries in Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and refinery business is the main supplier (70% of the market) to the Nigerias soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually. Apart from these, Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertilizer. The company exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seed and ginger to several countries. It also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles and oil and gas. The company employs over 11,000 people and is the largest industrial conglomerate in the whole of West Africa.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Nigerian centenary award recipients; full list

Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday decorated seven living former Nigerian Heads of State and Presidents with the centenary awards. The centenary anniversary awards night and dinner, during which 100 recipients were decorated, was held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa.

The decorated leaders are Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

Others are Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar. Six late Nigerian Heads of State were honoured post-humously.
The recipients of the post-humous award are Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, Gen. Murtala Mohammed, Gen. Sani Abacha and Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua.

Also in the category is the presumed winner of the June 1993 general election, late Chief Moshood Abiola.
The President decorated the representatives of the late leaders among whom is Mrs Maryam Abacha.

Also the centenary awards are in 13 categories with winners both living and dead. The first are those who have contributed to the making of Nigeria and they include Queen Elizabeth II of England, Lord Fredrick Lugard and his wife, Lady Lugard,
The second category is the Heroes of the Struggle for independence/Pioneer political leaders which include Azikiwe, Balewa, Macaulay and Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Others in the category are Sir Ahmadu Bello, Prof Eyo Ita, Jaja Nwachukwu, Pa Michael Imoudu, Chief Anthony Enahoro and Chief Joseph Tarka.
The rest are Malam Aminu Kano, Mrs Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Hajia Gambo Sawaba.
The third category is the Pioneers in professional Callings/careers which include the first indigenous lawyer, Chief Sapara Williams, and the first indigenous Solicitor, Chief Rotimi Williams. The categories also include the first indigenous Chartered Accountant, Chief Akintola Williams, and the first indigenous Inspector General of Police, Louis Edet, and the first indigenous medical doctor, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, Also in the categories are the first female Vice Chancelor of Nigerian universities, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, and the first indigenous female pilot,.Capt. Chinyere Kalu. Others include Akinwale Wey, Gen. George, Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, Tamunoiyowunam, Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed, Prof. Kenneth Dike, and Gen. Oviemo Ovadje.

The fourth category is Pioneer in Commerce and Industry, which has Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, Alh. Alhassan Dantata and Chief Adeola Odutola. Awardees under Pioneer of Democratic Transition in Nigeria are Shagari, late Abiola, late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua and Abdusalami Abubakar.
The sixth category is the Heroes in Global Sports Competitions which are Chioma Ajunwa, Nwankwo Kanu, Richard Ihetu, Chief Michael Okpala (Power Mike) and Monday Emoghavwe.
The seventh category is Accomplished Pioneer Public Servants and the awardees include Chief Olabode Wey, Justice Udo Udoma, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Sir Adetokubo Ademola. Others are Dr Olawale Elias, Dr Rilwan Lukman, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki and Alh. Aliyu Mai-Borno.
The awardess under category eight, which are the Accomplished Temporary Entrepreneurs, are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Mike Adenuga and Dr innocent Chukwuma. The ninth category is Distinguished Academics and the recipients include Profs. Benjamin Osuntokun, . Kelsey Harrison, Chike Obi, Dagogo Fubara, Ade Ajayi, Claude Ake, Babatunde Fafunwa, Godwin Abasi and Umaru Shehu.
The 10th category is International Acclaimed Artists, Literary Icons and Journalists and the recipients include Chief Michael Akinwumi, Profs. Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and John Pepper Clark. The recipients also include Mr Cyprian Ekwensi, Alhaji Abubakar Imam, Mr Daniel Fagunwa, Ernest Ikoli, Alhaji Babatunde Jose and Kenneth Nnebue.
The category also has Olu Jacobs, Patience Ozokwor, Shata Katsina, Herbert Ogunde, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Osita Osadebe and Dr Ladi Kwali. Others are Benedict Enwonwu, Alhaji Maitama Sule, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Dr Barnabas Oloruntoba and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Maryam Mukhtar.
The 11th category is Outstanding Bravery and Public Spiritedness and the beneficiaries are Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Michael Ihuka,. The 12th category is Outstanding Promoters of Unity, Patriotism and National development and in the category are former Heads of State and Presidents. The recipients are Gowon, late Gen. Murtala Mohammed, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Shonekan, Gen. Sani Abacha, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, and Gen. Theophilus Danjuma. The last category is Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Peace and Moral Excellence and the recipients are Sir Abubakar Sadiq, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, Michael Tansi, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Sheikh Usman Bauchi.(NAN)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

MOMENT OF HISTORY WHEN THE FIRST FLIGHT LANDED


first international flight landed in Akanu Ibiam International Airport
Christopher Isiguzo writes about a moment of history in Enugu, Southeastern Nigeria, where the first international flight landed in Akanu Ibiam International Airport with accolades for the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, whose reform is changing the fortune of Nigeria’s aviation sector
Conversations shifted effortlessly from what the news had been in the city during past days. Most headlines last week came out of Enugu where the gaze has been on the woman at the centre of change for Nigerians and Southeasterners in particular.  And though the Minister for Aviation, Stella Oduah, whose reform in the aviation sector is changing all things, busied herself in Abuja throughout last week putting final touches to plans for a smooth historic event in Enugu at the weekend, the expectations around Enugu and entire Southeast were high. From the moment she announced that the first international flight will land in Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, accolades poured for her.
So, last Saturday, the moment she arrived at the airport to perform that significant official welcome ritual for the crew of Ethiopian airline whose flight entered the record  officially as the first international carrier to land at the remodelled airport, penetrating gaze followed her everywhere on the tarmac.
Draped in wine colour attire with her symbolic simple headtie, Oduah exuded that confidence of an achiever with goodwill.  And as melodies seeped from every corner in appreciation of her commitment towards the making of the airport an international one, she couldn’t help but to assure the teeming crowd who came to witness the occasion of President Goodluck Jonathan’s continued support for the Southeast.
She said:  “This is a dream come through for the region, it’s a part of the transformation agenda of President Jonathan to open up Nigeria to the outside world. He will continue to do more to change the status quo and that is what we are committed to as members of his team.”
The Ethiopian Airlines arrived Enugu at exactly 12.14pm on Saturday, August 24, 2013 and as soon as the crowd that thronged the Akanu Ibiam International Airport to witness the arrival of the first passenger international flight sighted the Ethiopian airline, they went frenzy in jubilation.
Prominent leaders of the zone including state governors of Abia, Theodore Orji, Anambra, Peter Obi, Ebonyi, Martin Elechi and Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and cabinet ministers from the zone including, Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Power, Chinedu Nebo, Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu joined Oduah, to receive the Boeing 737 marked ET-APL on arrival in Enugu at the weekend.

The entire airport witnessed sea of heads as traditional, religious leaders as well as members of the National Assembly led by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, state assembly members from the five states, council chairmen, party leaders including the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh celebrated as the aircraft which carried about 25 passengers from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia landed at about 12:30 pm.

The crew was personally led by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Esayas Haylu.
Esayas Haylu expressed happiness that his airline was the first to commence international flights to Enugu.
Haylu who is also the chief commercial officer of the airline greeted the crowd with the traditional Igbo greeting of "Igbo Kwenu" on disembarkment.
He praised the "spirit of Igbo people", saying repeatedly, "I love you, I love you".
Haylu then promised that the Ethiopian Airlines would ensure that it abides by the aviation rules and regulations of Nigeria for as long as it continue to fly the Enugu route which is its 76th destination worldwide.

Other people who spoke at the airport including the Chief of Staff, Enugu state, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo, Ekweremadu, Governor Obi, as well as Anyim expressed appreciation to President Jonathan for fulfilling his campaign promise of flagging off an international airport in the southeast region.

They noted that the commencement of international flight operation at the airport would go a long way in boosting economic activities in the southeast since the area is known for having men and women with business interests that would take advantage of the airport.

THISDAY check revealed that about 158 passengers including Ekweremadu, Chime boarded the flight which left the airport at about 2:20pm back to Addis-Ababa enroute United Kingdom.
In one breath, Oduah explained why things are working in the sector she leads. “What we did that helped us immensely was to heed to Mr. President’s instruction. One, he told us to do a holistic review of the sector. Two, he threw a challenge at us to ensure an outcome that will be growth and not just to enable growth, but an outcome that will really reposition the industry holistically and so we went to work and we did total diagnostic of all the sector and of course we began to apply the medicine in the sick areas and the result is what we are beginning to see around the country of which Enugu is one,” she enthused
Anambra billionaire businessman, Arthur Eze, was the first to benefit from this gesture when on Tuesday August 20, 2013, he flew in his private jet with registration number 5MPZE into the Enugu Airport direct from Senegal.

During the ceremony, Specifically, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, who rehabilitated the access and internal roads of the airport, was happy that Jonathan kept to his words.

The governor said the president has made good his promise to see through the upgrading of the airport to international status, adding “we’re quite delighted about this historic inaugural flight. As a state and region, we’re eternally grateful to Mr. President for his commitment and genuine efforts that culminated in the commencement of commercial international flights to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport. We also thank Mr. President for the completion of the remodelled  airport and the ongoing work at the international wing.
“We are equally thankful to Ms. Stella Oduah Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke and Mrs. Fidelia Njeze for their roles in seeing that this milestone event will change the fortunes and landscape of not only Enugu State, but also the entire Southeast zone.
“As a government, we will continue to support Ethiopian Airlines while also calling on other airlines to emulate them. We want to reassure our people and other passengers and staff of the airlines that we will continue to go the extra mile to ensure their safety.
On his part, Governor Elechi of Ebonyi State said the development represented a watershed in the socio-economic life of Southeasterners in particular and the nation in general.
“Apart from the symbolic significance of removing the psychological stigma labelling Southeast as the only zone without an international corridor, the event will give a practical boost to the well-known entrepreneurial impulse of Ndigbo which is a plus for the nation,” Elechi said.
He added: “this is a massive achievement of the Jonathan presidency and yet another reason for Nigeria to appreciate Dr Goodluck Jonathan and for Ndigbo to celebrate him. It is, indeed, a new day for the Southeast.”
Earlier, Oduah who also spoke exclusively to THISDAY said the president has religiously kept to his transformation agenda. She recalled that Jonathan had, during the foundation laying/commissioning ceremony of the remodeled Akanu Ibiam International Airport on May 18, this year, reminded his audience that: “During my campaign for election as President in 2011, one of the promises I made to Nigerians was to bring about transformation of the national economy.
“This promise is being delivered in the Southeast geo-political zone through, among other key interventions, the transformational work going on not only here at Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, but also at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri.”
She, therefore, noted that Jonathan’s transformation agenda “was getting full expression in the aviation sector not only in the renewal of airport infrastructure, especially terminal rehabilitation and upgrade, but also very poignantly for the people of the Southeast, as evidenced in the first international flight operated by Ethiopian airlines landing at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu today.
“For the people of this region and its environs stretching to the Southsouth and parts of the Middle Belt, it has been a dream comes true; almost like a long walk to freedom. Although the Enugu airport had in fact borne the name ‘International’ since it was officially so designated on December 17, 2010 by then acting President Jonathan, all hope of actually playing host to international flights had remained forlorn for the people of the region until today.
“When the president rolled out his transformation agenda with promises of a new dawn, a lot of hopes were expectedly raised. Now those hopes have crystalised into reality for people from the Southeast zone who were assured that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, would truly answer its name in the lifetime of the Jonathan presidency. This is a concrete proof that this president keeps promises once they are made,” she said.
The minister observed that the historic international flight, perhaps the first since after the civil war, was both symbolic and revolutionary. “It symbolises the end of an era where an entire region was almost shut out from the rest of the world, literally speaking, to one where the same enclave is now open to a new and exciting world of endless possibilities,” she said.
Ms. Oduah regretted that additional expense had been incurred, goods and lives even lost in those highly perilous journey from Lagos and Abuja to the East, saying that as the Ethiopian Airlines now offering direct international flights from Enugu to almost any destination in the globe, the world is truly in the pocket of the South East.
“A new dawn is here. The world has in fact come to the East,” she exclaimed.
The minister also said that there would be multiplier effect of the value chain that would be created as businesses spring up in and around the airport and the city of Enugu, saying that the commercial offerings would not only boost the economy of the zone, but also create thousands of jobs.
“The hospitality industry in the area is sure to witness a resurgence and boom. Commerce, which is the major preoccupation of the peoples of this zone would begin to boom as the Onitsha and Ariaria International market, Aba begin to play host not only to the local folks, but also to a wider international business community.
“This is also not talking about the huge opportunity for easy export of manufactured and agricultural goods. The local manufacturer in the remotest part of Aba and Nnewi and the rural farmer in Arochukwu would be exposed to the international markets as flights take off and land in Enugu from all corners of the globe.
Also, the Chief of Staff to Enugu state government, Mrs Nwobodo expressed delight with the new international status of the airport, noting “it’s a welcome development and I believe it will open the economic window for the easterners. We are business people and I am sure these asses will further expand their horizon. I believe our people will patronise the airport, they will use this as travelling hub and a travelling connection, its going to be busy airport. You will see it”.

MOMENT OF HISTORY WHEN THE FIRST FLIGHT LANDED


Christopher Isiguzo writes about a moment of history in Enugu, Southeastern Nigeria, where the first international flight landed in Akanu Ibiam International Airport with accolades for the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, whose reform is changing the fortune of Nigeria’s aviation sector
Conversations shifted effortlessly from what the news had been in the city during past days. Most headlines last week came out of Enugu where the gaze has been on the woman at the centre of change for Nigerians and Southeasterners in particular.  And though the Minister for Aviation, Stella Oduah, whose reform in the aviation sector is changing all things, busied herself in Abuja throughout last week putting final touches to plans for a smooth historic event in Enugu at the weekend, the expectations around Enugu and entire Southeast were high. From the moment she announced that the first international flight will land in Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, accolades poured for her.
So, last Saturday, the moment she arrived at the airport to perform that significant official welcome ritual for the crew of Ethiopian airline whose flight entered the record  officially as the first international carrier to land at the remodelled airport, penetrating gaze followed her everywhere on the tarmac.
Draped in wine colour attire with her symbolic simple headtie, Oduah exuded that confidence of an achiever with goodwill.  And as melodies seeped from every corner in appreciation of her commitment towards the making of the airport an international one, she couldn’t help but to assure the teeming crowd who came to witness the occasion of President Goodluck Jonathan’s continued support for the Southeast.
She said:  “This is a dream come through for the region, it’s a part of the transformation agenda of President Jonathan to open up Nigeria to the outside world. He will continue to do more to change the status quo and that is what we are committed to as members of his team.”
The Ethiopian Airlines arrived Enugu at exactly 12.14pm on Saturday, August 24, 2013 and as soon as the crowd that thronged the Akanu Ibiam International Airport to witness the arrival of the first passenger international flight sighted the Ethiopian airline, they went frenzy in jubilation.
Prominent leaders of the zone including state governors of Abia, Theodore Orji, Anambra, Peter Obi, Ebonyi, Martin Elechi and Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and cabinet ministers from the zone including, Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Power, Chinedu Nebo, Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu joined Oduah, to receive the Boeing 737 marked ET-APL on arrival in Enugu at the weekend.

The entire airport witnessed sea of heads as traditional, religious leaders as well as members of the National Assembly led by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, state assembly members from the five states, council chairmen, party leaders including the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh celebrated as the aircraft which carried about 25 passengers from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia landed at about 12:30 pm.

The crew was personally led by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Esayas Haylu.
Esayas Haylu expressed happiness that his airline was the first to commence international flights to Enugu.
Haylu who is also the chief commercial officer of the airline greeted the crowd with the traditional Igbo greeting of "Igbo Kwenu" on disembarkment.
He praised the "spirit of Igbo people", saying repeatedly, "I love you, I love you".
Haylu then promised that the Ethiopian Airlines would ensure that it abides by the aviation rules and regulations of Nigeria for as long as it continue to fly the Enugu route which is its 76th destination worldwide.

Other people who spoke at the airport including the Chief of Staff, Enugu state, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo, Ekweremadu, Governor Obi, as well as Anyim expressed appreciation to President Jonathan for fulfilling his campaign promise of flagging off an international airport in the southeast region.

They noted that the commencement of international flight operation at the airport would go a long way in boosting economic activities in the southeast since the area is known for having men and women with business interests that would take advantage of the airport.

THISDAY check revealed that about 158 passengers including Ekweremadu, Chime boarded the flight which left the airport at about 2:20pm back to Addis-Ababa enroute United Kingdom.
In one breath, Oduah explained why things are working in the sector she leads. “What we did that helped us immensely was to heed to Mr. President’s instruction. One, he told us to do a holistic review of the sector. Two, he threw a challenge at us to ensure an outcome that will be growth and not just to enable growth, but an outcome that will really reposition the industry holistically and so we went to work and we did total diagnostic of all the sector and of course we began to apply the medicine in the sick areas and the result is what we are beginning to see around the country of which Enugu is one,” she enthused
Anambra billionaire businessman, Arthur Eze, was the first to benefit from this gesture when on Tuesday August 20, 2013, he flew in his private jet with registration number 5MPZE into the Enugu Airport direct from Senegal.

During the ceremony, Specifically, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, who rehabilitated the access and internal roads of the airport, was happy that Jonathan kept to his words.

The governor said the president has made good his promise to see through the upgrading of the airport to international status, adding “we’re quite delighted about this historic inaugural flight. As a state and region, we’re eternally grateful to Mr. President for his commitment and genuine efforts that culminated in the commencement of commercial international flights to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport. We also thank Mr. President for the completion of the remodelled  airport and the ongoing work at the international wing.
“We are equally thankful to Ms. Stella Oduah Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke and Mrs. Fidelia Njeze for their roles in seeing that this milestone event will change the fortunes and landscape of not only Enugu State, but also the entire Southeast zone.
“As a government, we will continue to support Ethiopian Airlines while also calling on other airlines to emulate them. We want to reassure our people and other passengers and staff of the airlines that we will continue to go the extra mile to ensure their safety.
On his part, Governor Elechi of Ebonyi State said the development represented a watershed in the socio-economic life of Southeasterners in particular and the nation in general.
“Apart from the symbolic significance of removing the psychological stigma labelling Southeast as the only zone without an international corridor, the event will give a practical boost to the well-known entrepreneurial impulse of Ndigbo which is a plus for the nation,” Elechi said.
He added: “this is a massive achievement of the Jonathan presidency and yet another reason for Nigeria to appreciate Dr Goodluck Jonathan and for Ndigbo to celebrate him. It is, indeed, a new day for the Southeast.”
Earlier, Oduah who also spoke exclusively to THISDAY said the president has religiously kept to his transformation agenda. She recalled that Jonathan had, during the foundation laying/commissioning ceremony of the remodeled Akanu Ibiam International Airport on May 18, this year, reminded his audience that: “During my campaign for election as President in 2011, one of the promises I made to Nigerians was to bring about transformation of the national economy.
“This promise is being delivered in the Southeast geo-political zone through, among other key interventions, the transformational work going on not only here at Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, but also at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri.”
She, therefore, noted that Jonathan’s transformation agenda “was getting full expression in the aviation sector not only in the renewal of airport infrastructure, especially terminal rehabilitation and upgrade, but also very poignantly for the people of the Southeast, as evidenced in the first international flight operated by Ethiopian airlines landing at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu today.
“For the people of this region and its environs stretching to the Southsouth and parts of the Middle Belt, it has been a dream comes true; almost like a long walk to freedom. Although the Enugu airport had in fact borne the name ‘International’ since it was officially so designated on December 17, 2010 by then acting President Jonathan, all hope of actually playing host to international flights had remained forlorn for the people of the region until today.
“When the president rolled out his transformation agenda with promises of a new dawn, a lot of hopes were expectedly raised. Now those hopes have crystalised into reality for people from the Southeast zone who were assured that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, would truly answer its name in the lifetime of the Jonathan presidency. This is a concrete proof that this president keeps promises once they are made,” she said.
The minister observed that the historic international flight, perhaps the first since after the civil war, was both symbolic and revolutionary. “It symbolises the end of an era where an entire region was almost shut out from the rest of the world, literally speaking, to one where the same enclave is now open to a new and exciting world of endless possibilities,” she said.
Ms. Oduah regretted that additional expense had been incurred, goods and lives even lost in those highly perilous journey from Lagos and Abuja to the East, saying that as the Ethiopian Airlines now offering direct international flights from Enugu to almost any destination in the globe, the world is truly in the pocket of the South East.
“A new dawn is here. The world has in fact come to the East,” she exclaimed.
The minister also said that there would be multiplier effect of the value chain that would be created as businesses spring up in and around the airport and the city of Enugu, saying that the commercial offerings would not only boost the economy of the zone, but also create thousands of jobs.
“The hospitality industry in the area is sure to witness a resurgence and boom. Commerce, which is the major preoccupation of the peoples of this zone would begin to boom as the Onitsha and Ariaria International market, Aba begin to play host not only to the local folks, but also to a wider international business community.
“This is also not talking about the huge opportunity for easy export of manufactured and agricultural goods. The local manufacturer in the remotest part of Aba and Nnewi and the rural farmer in Arochukwu would be exposed to the international markets as flights take off and land in Enugu from all corners of the globe.
Also, the Chief of Staff to Enugu state government, Mrs Nwobodo expressed delight with the new international status of the airport, noting “it’s a welcome development and I believe it will open the economic window for the easterners. We are business people and I am sure these asses will further expand their horizon. I believe our people will patronise the airport, they will use this as travelling hub and a travelling connection, its going to be busy airport. You will see it”.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

EXCLUSIVE: richest black person in the world- I started small as a trader in cement - Aliko Dangote


The business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, was at the Lagos Business School to give a lecture. He ended up sharing his  life experiences and advice with both budding and established entrepreneurs. The event served as a catalyst for today’s lessons from the man who has worked hard to become the richest black person in the world, as written by RUTH OLUROUNBI.
It is an open secret that the Dangote Group, a diversified conglomerate with interests across a range of sectors in Africa, has over 18 subsidiary companies, with several interests in cement, sugar, flour, salt, pasta, beverages and real estate, with new projects in development in the oil and natural gas, telecommunications, fertilizer and steel. But did you know that the Dangote Group started as a small trading firm in the year 1977?
By identifying what you, as an entrepreneur, should do, we tell the story of how the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, got to where he is today.

See and maximise opportunities

This is one of the qualities that have made Dangote a successful business man in Africa. He possesses a knack for seeing opportunities beyond what others could see.
For instance, in April this year, he announced plans to invest $8 billion in building an oil refinery with capacity for around 400,000 barrels a day by late 2016. That is three years from now.
Of the amount, he revealed at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Cape Town, South Africa, that he had raised $4.5 to build the refinery, securing loans from a consortium of banks.
Some have said with that singular move, if all goes according to plan, Dangote stands a great chance of becoming the richest man in the world.

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Passion

A lot of business moguls have said that entrepreneurs need passion to pursue their vision in order to make it a reality. And that passion has served as catalyst to becoming the man Dangote is today. Being a person who had always had an eye for business even at a young age, he passionately pursued his ideas vigorously, becoming more than just an entrepreneur. “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time,” he said of how he started off.

Start small

With a small token from his grandfather and a latter loan he took from same, he started a business. Now, he is the richest man in Africa, with net worth of $16.1 billion, as of March 2013, in Forbes’ estimates.
Explaining, Dangote said “for me, I started small as a trader in cement. Then I left cement around 1978. Because there was this armada and cement was difficult to get at that time. I had my own money which my grandfather gave me free, but then he gave me also an additional loan of N500, 000 (about $3,000) which was big money in those days. The money was quite a substantial amount then. The loan was supposed to be paid back whenever I was okay-maybe after three or four years. But I paid the loan back within six months.”

Don’t eat your seed money

At the time, Dangote was given the N500, 000 loan in 1978, which he could have easily used to chase cars, houses and whatever caught his fancy. Back then, a Mercedes Benz car was sold for N5,000 while a Volkswagen Beetle went for N900 to N1,000. But he didn’t do any of those, instead he invested the money and he was able to pay back the loan in six months, as against the originally thought three or four years.

Get an education

Aside his formal education – a degree in Business Studies and Administration from School of Economics & Business, Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, he made himself available to get as much informal education as possible, from his grandfather, an uncle, the environment, the business climate and life in general.
“All my business acumen and instincts I inherited from my maternal grandfather. As his first grandson, he poured his business wizardry into me. I would not have been where I am today without him; a very great man, loving and caring.
“I started with the business of cement, which was giving us a lot of money because at that time, Nigeria was making so much money and we were doing a lot of constructions. On a vehicle which I normally get from my uncle, I was making about N1,350 to N1,400 per day, and I had an allocation of about three to four trucks including Saturdays and Sundays. Later, I realised I was making a lot of money though then, I didn’t have a lot of ideas of what to do. It was only cement business that I knew and I was stuck to it up till 1980, when I started knowing Lagos, becoming a Lagosian, understanding where to go and finding people to buy import licenses from. Within three months, I paid my grandfather back because I had no further need of his money,” the man was quoted to have said in a biography.

Slow and steady wins the race

Today, the world knows Dangote as a billionaire but did you know that he took him 30 years to amass $1 billion? His journey is a very interesting one, showing all the features of luck, opportunity, hardwork and providence, but most of all patience.

Invest in your environment

Dangote believes that taking your wealth outside the shores of the country wouldn’t help the country’s economy, therefore, he charged entrepreneurs to invest in their country, saying, “let me tell you this and I want to really emphasise it. Nothing is going to help Nigeria like Nigerians bringing back their money. If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work.”

Be accessible

“I am someone who doesn’t switch off my phone. My phone is on 24 hours. My day is not really very structured because of several issues. The demand of my time is really extremely high; especially in Nigeria you have a lot of ceremonies, and unnecessary ones,” Dangote said at a lecture at the Lagos Business School.

Don’t waste time

When attending business meetings or conferences in other countries, he said he could not afford to waste time. He explained that “sometimes I go all the way from here (Nigeria) to China, and spend only five hours in China and come back. That’s why I don’t take my private jet to China because the pilots need hours to rest, and the hours that they need, which is nine hours, I don’t have. So I have to take Emirates.”

Have a routine and invest in your health

Dangote said he starts his work days around 5 a.m., being the most productive for him, in his own admission. He also said he tries to fit in time to exercise most mornings, which helps him prevent stress. “Exercise is better than any medicine I can take. Exercise and sleep,” he said during the lecture. He is an ardent jogger.

Relax, let go of stress and worries

At one time, Dangote said he had trained himself not to let stress or worry affect his sleep, recommending that other entrepreneurs train themselves in this. “Even if someone had to tell me I would die tomorrow, I would still sleep.
On how he relaxes, he said, “my only enjoyment is to sit around and talk with my friends, and exercise. I like to exercise, and if people are doing weddings or whatever I like to show up for 10-20 minutes and then I go.”
Additional information from Nairaland and Forbes

Friday, 19 July 2013

NIGERIA’S SUPER RICH MEN AND WOMEN,HOW THEY MAKE AND SPEND THEIR MONEY| NAIJA MOMENT



To make wealth is an achievement; the way it is spent is style. In most cases, successful individuals who have created wealth through wise and diligent investments in business hardly squander their money. They usually prefer to reinvest their capital, including the accrued profit over the years, into their businesses to increase their asset base and level of affluence.

The tendency, therefore, is that the richer they are, the more their business interests expand. In line with this corporate tradition, the rich investors get richer and, when they spend, they do so in a big way worthy of mention. This is because of the extensive attention attracted by their rare wherewithal and will to spend, including doling out money on humanitarian grounds. Among Nigeria’s privileged people are:



Aliko Dangote

Nigerian business tycoon Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa. He is the founder, Dangote Group, West Africa’s largest publicly listed conglomerate with diverse business interests such as sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, real estate and salt processing. Dangote Cement, Dangote Foods (noodles) and Dansa Juice complete the chain. His total net worth is about $16.1 as at March 2013.

Dangote spends money in philanthropic activities. He has stepped up his philanthropy in recent years, giving over $100 million to causes ranging from education and health through flood relief, poverty alleviation to the arts. He acquired a private jet in April 2010 as a personal gift on the occasion of his 53rd birthday. The Bombardier Global Jet Express XRS (one out of a few) was estimated to cost $45 million. Dangote is also said to have purchased a private luxury yatch at the cost of $43 million made exclusively for his enjoyment. The yatch is named Mariya after his mother.



Mike Adenuga

Otunba Mike Adenuga built his fortune in business from banking, mobile telecom service and oil. He founded Globacom, now Nigeria’s second largest mobile phone network, in 2006. Globacom has more than 24 million subscribers in Nigeria, and also operates in the Republic of Benin. Adenuga made his first fortune at the young age of 26 in the 1970s by distributing lace and other materials. He later had another opportunity to expand his fortune during the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida when he was awarded a contract for the construction of military barracks in some military installations in the country. He is presently worth $4.7 billion, thus justifying him as one of Nigeria’s super-rich businessmen.

Adenuga is a philanthropist who spends a lot of money on selfless activities aimed at bringing succour and assistance to less-privileged people. Adenuga also takes his philanthropic goodwill to the area of sports development in Nigeria and Africa through his selfless investments in sports.  His demonstration of philanthropic largesse cuts across sponsorship of Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Super Eagles. This was one of the points highlighted by President Goodluck Jonathan at his (Adenuga’s) 60th birthday. “You are celebrating 60 years of a remarkable life filled with monumental achievements in high entrepreneurship, philanthropy and dedicated service to God and country,” the president said.

Similarly, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Issah Hayatou, used the occasion of Adenuga’s birthday celebration to appreciate his contributions to the society. He recognised that Adenuga had not only affected Africa positively through his accomplishments in business but has also been the pillar of sports on the continent.

Adenuga loves spending money on what gives him joy. It could be said that, partly for this reason, he acquired a private Bombardier Global Express jet, fitted with the latest flight facilities. It is one of the most luxuriously built private jets in the world, just like that of Dangote.



Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia started building his fortunes when he founded Zenith Bank Group in 1990. The bank has grown to become West Africa’s second largest financial service provider by market capitalisation and asset base. His sources of wealth are banking, telecommunication and real estate investment.

He also owns Quantum Luxury Properties Limited, a private equity fund with special focus on Africa. Ovia’s total net worth is about $825 million.

He has embarked on the establishment of a free, co-educational high school, James Hope College, in Delta State, the place where he pondered his future as a young man. The school, an 18-month project, launches in September with an initial capacity for 420 students. He is also the founder of Mankind United To Support Total Education (MUSTE), an organisation providing scholarships for the underprivileged.



Abdussamad Rabiu

Lagos-based business tycoon Abdulsamad Rabiu is a son of Khalifa Isiyaku Rabiu, one of Nigeria’s most successful businessmen in the 1970s. Little wonder therefore that he followed in his father’s footsteps in business with interest in importing basic commodities such as rice, sugar and cement in the 1980s.

Abdussamad heads the BUA Group, a conglomerate with $1.9 billion in revenues and interests in sugar refining, vegetable oil processing and flour mills. The BUA Group also operates the BUA Cement, Nigeria’s first floating cement terminal, as well as Nigerian Oil Mill which processes edible oil. According to Forbes magazine report, he is the 21st richest African and is worth $675 million.



Folorunsho Alakija

Billionaire oil tycoon, fashion designer and philanthropist, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija is worth at least $3.3 billion against a recent Forbes’ rating which quoted her net worth as $600 million. She began her professional career in the 1970s as secretary of defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the country’s earliest investment banks.

In the early 1980s when banking was seen as one of the most lucrative jobs, she took a bold step towards realisation of her personal dreams by quitting her job in the bank to study Fashion Design in England. She returned to Nigeria a few years later to establish Supreme Stitches, a high-profile fashion firm which provides special services to exclusive clientele. She also founded Rose of Sharon Foundation, a charity organisation.

This fashion design business led her into fortune. She was in a position to make and sell high-level clothing to the fashionable wives of some military big shots and other society women.

In May 1993, Mrs Alakija set out for oil business. It was then she applied for an allocation of oil prospecting licence (OPL) to explore 617,000-acre block granted to her company, Famfa Oil Limited. However, at that time, she had no experience in oil exploration -- she was just a new entrant in the business.

Also, Mrs Alakija is widely reported to own a private jet, Bombardier Global Express 6000 which cost about $46 million, added to acquisition of a property at Hyde Park. This is one of the ways she spends her wealth, which gives her happiness. Furthermore, she is a philanthropist who derives joy in giving assistance to widows and other less-privileged in society.



Tony Elumelu

Mr Tony Elumelu (CON) was born in Jos on March 22, 1963. He is a renowned economist, banker, investor and generous philanthropist. Elumelu is a recognised African leader in corporate business. After leading United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc to a higher level with the acquisition of Standard Trust Bank (STB) during the consolidation of the banking industry in 2005, he retired from the management of UBA in July 2010.

On establishment of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he stated the foundation’s objective as to “prove that the African private sector can itself be primary generator of economic development”. Among the roles of the foundation are deployment of resources to generate reliable solutions to the business constraints that derail and clog the growth of business in the private sector in Africa.

Moreover, Elumelu ploughs a lot of resources in philanthropic activities. Apart from the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he was also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Regional Agenda Council on Africa. He is also part of the Bretton Woods Committee which brings leaders in the global banking industry together. Voluntary development of human capital is one of the cherished interests where Elumelu spends his wealth. He also partners with the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) with high focus on strengthening the role of the private sector in economic transformation policies of some African countries. This partnership is named Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Programme.

Elumelu, the originator of the concept of Africapitalism as an economic philosophy that reflects the commitment of players in the private sector towards the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investment, is a consummate patriot with a full-blown obsession for how he can make his country and continent a better part of the world.

Interest in paying family hospital bills, unpaid school fees, providing for families who cannot provide their needs -- all form part of what Elumelu does through his catalytic philanthropic method of assisting human beings within the shores of Nigeria and Africa.



Hajiya Bola Shagaya

Hajiya Bola Shagaya is hailed as one of Nigeria’s richest businesswomen. She is the CEO of Bolmus International Limited. She has interests in several sectors ranging from oil and gas, banking, cash crops export, real estate, fast-moving consumer goods and photography.

She has been a very influential figure in Nigeria’s corridors of power for decades and has excelled in a society where the role of women has been restricted traditionally. Her rise to affluence and power is not attributed to parental or marital influence. This woman of means has skilfully built her network and wealth from a humble background, and has proven herself as an outstanding power broker with impressive entrepreneurial skills.

In the manner of an astute entrepreneur, she saw opportunities in the populous image-conscious Nigerian market, prompting the expansion of her Konica marketing operations to photo laboratory services; that was the birth of another of her companies – Fotofair (Nigeria) Limited. Today, Fotofair is a leading photo laboratory company in Nigeria with over 30 laboratories spread across the nation.

Hajiya, as she is fondly called, has impressively carved her path in the sixth-largest oil producer’s oil and gas sector. As far back as the late 1980s, during the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida-led military administration, she had steered her oil and gas company through the highly connected and contested Nigerian oil and gas sector to secure allocations for oil blocks. Thus began her reign as an indigenous oil marketer.

Around 2005, she became the managing director of Practoil Limited and, in 2011, she founded another exploration company, Voyage Oil and Gas Limited.

Shagaya, who is of Yoruba extraction, a tribe distinguished as party enthusiasts of the over 200 tribes in Nigeria, often attends the biggest social events dressed in “anko” with Nigeria’s first ladies -- a local practice of Nigerian women indicating bosom friendship by wearing the same traditional attire especially to social functions.

The one-time patron of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) is a collector and retailer of the finest and most exquisite jewelleries from different fashion capitals of the world. “I love fashion, artworks and beautification endeavours,” she said.

The graceful billionaire is not all about heavy-weight work. “I’m also a lover of sports, especially Polo”, she said. She has consistently supported Polo tournaments in Nigeria over the years.



Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola is the CEO of African Petroleum Plc. He was one of only two Nigerians (alongside Aliko Dangote) to appear on the 2009 Forbes list of 793 dollar-denominated billionaires in the world, with an estimated net worth of over US$1.2 billion. Femi Otedola is the Nigerian president and chief executive officer of Zenon Petroleum and Gas limited.

Forbes magazine estimates Femi Otedola’s net worth at $1.2 billion and ranks him as the 601st richest person in the world. According to Encomium magazine, Femi Otedola’s net worth is $3.5 billion.

He owns a private jet called Challenger Global 5000 and a yatch almost similar to Dangote’s named Nana after his wife.



Emeka Offor

Sir Emeka Offor, as he is often addressed rarely grants interviews, rather, he prefers his works, businesses and philanthropy to speak for him.

His multi-million business interest, Chrome Group, is a multifaceted organisation which originally started as an engineering outfit handling projects such as refinery maintenance, has today become by the grace of God, a conglomerate with diverse interests in Oil and Gas, Finance/Investments, Telecommunications, Insurance, Maritime, Destination Inspection, Real Estate and the Power Sector.

He once said in a newspaper interview that he is a son of a policeman, born in Kafanchan in Kaduna State. Offor is a goal-getter and founder of Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, a platform through which he doles out millions of naira for philanthropic purposes.

A member of Rotary International and deeply involved in the 4 cardinal pursuits of the Rotary Foundation, which are; peace and Conflict Management, Maternal and Child Death, Basic Education and Literacy, and Polio and Guinea Worm Eradication. He has made an outstanding donation of 250,000 USD for Peace studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, $250,000 for Polio eradication; $250,000 for Guinea worm eradication; and another $250,000 for Women empowerment programmes in Nigeria. He was inducted into the Foundation Circle of the Arch Klumph Society of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, an honour reserved for individuals who have donated over $250,000 to its causes.  Through his Foundation, he has donated over $1 million, making him the highest donor from Africa.

This Anambra State-born politician and businessman has heavily invested in education. The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is the largest single sponsor of Books For Africa, a non-profitable organization, bringing in over $10 million worth of books, computers and other educational materials to our national institutions of learning and public libraries. He was reported to have also used his money to enthrone a governor in his home state.



Andy Uba

Initially named Nnamdi Uba and currently a member of the National Assembly as a Senator of the Federal Republic, Senator Andy Uba is a member of the famous Uba family in Anambra State. He is stupendously rich and was reported to have declared his assets to be worth N3trillion though he denied ever doing so.


Uba has a lot of lucrative business interests and he is connected with a number of charity works via a Foundation.