Rotary Club of Lagos budgets N30million for SMEs

L-r: Rotarian Omotunde Lawson, District Governor; Dr Bisi Onasanya, CEO of The Address Homes who was Chairman of the occasion and his wife; and Rotarian Joe Akhigbe, President of the Rotary Club of Lagos

The Rotary Club of Lagos has set aside the sum of N30million for service projects aimed at growing economies within its operating environment to reduce poverty.

Disclosing this at the club’s annual President's Dinner held in Lagos, over the weekend, the club’s president, Rotarian Joseph Akhigbe, said the funds would also be used to expand micro-credit to businesses and acquire primary product processing machinery for some communities.

According to him, though the current Rotary year (2022-23) was half way gone, the club had, in the past few months, been able to carry out several projects, while it intends to complete others in the remaining part of the year, beginning from January.

Some of the projects, he stated, include: the granting of micro-credit loan of N1m to the Ifako Women Traders Union in July this year, and another micro-credit loan of N2million to the Sandgrouse Market Association in October in line with its Economic and Community Development theme.

Other corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives the club had also carried out, the President said, include its tree planting exercise at the Igbobi College in August; and the donation of life jackets to residents of the riverine community at Makoko in October.

“We are currently constructing 10 boreholes in Coker Village, Ifo Local Government Area in Ogun State with a global grant of $76,000, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Oberhausen Anthony-Huttle, Germany, and some other Rotary Clubs.

“All projects are being executed in line with the Rotary’s seven areas of focus: Peace Building & Conflict Resolution; Disease Prevention and Treatment; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; Maternal and Child Health; Basic Education and Literacy; Economic and Community Development; and Supporting the Environment,” he added.

Commending the club for the positive impact it had made on its communities through its various philanthropic gestures, former Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Dr. Olabisi Onasanya, said that reaching out to the less-privileged in the society had become imperative to engender the much-needed peace in the society.

Onasanya, now the Chairman/CEO, The Address Homes Limited, an estate development company, explained that the decision of the company to support the Rotary Club of Lagos with a model primary school, consisting of a block of six classrooms with offices and toilet in Igboku area, along Ilara-Igbonla, Ilara, Epe, at the beginning of the 2022-2023 Rotary year was informed by the need to bring smiles to the faces of the less privileged. This is by way of ensuring more indigent students have access to education.

He said further: “One thing individuals and corporate organisations must know is that unless we make the society we live in a better place, we would not be able to enjoy whatever wealth or businesses we claim to have if we fail to care for the less-privileged in our society.

“We must also know that our wealth is not measured by our affluence, or the amount of money we have in our bank accounts, but by the amount of smiles we are able to put on the faces of the needy,” he stated in a press release by the club.
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