Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), ex-President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), has empowered 200 Ekiti youths and widows with the sum of N8 million.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olanipekun is also a former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan and current Chancellor of Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Ikere-Ekiti.
The former NBA president presented the money at the second edition of the Wole Olanipekun Foundation for youth empowerment, widows and the aged programme, held at his Ikere-Ekiti country home, on Sunday.
NAN reports that a breakdown of the figure showed that 100 youths, who benefited from the gesture, included six disabled persons, and who received N50,000 each.
The other beneficiaries were widows and the aged, who went home with the sum of N30,000 each.
Speaking at the event, the legal luminary, who was represented by the General Manager of his Ikere-Ekiti-based New cruise FM 92.7 Radio, Mr. Jide Ogunluyi, said that his decision to institute the foundation was to empower the youth, help families and put smiles on the faces of vulnerable persons in the state.
He lamented the negative impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic on individuals and businesses, describing it as the most ravaging pandemic that had affected the global economy.
According to him, the pandemic had aggravated the poor economic situation of the unemployed youth, the aged and widows in the country, hence the need to urgently provide them support.
Olanipekun, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of Ajayi Crowder University, Oyo, called on government at all levels, as well as well-meaning individuals, to embark on similar programmes that would help the needy.
In his remarks, the traditional ruler of the community, the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti, , Oba Adejimi Adu, represented by Prof. Babatola Olufemi, commended Olanipekun for his many years of developmental activities, aimed at uplifting lives and progress in the community.
He recalled that lately, Olanipekun single-handedly donated the sum of N12 million at a fund raising for the take- off of the Bamidele Olumilua University of Science and Technology, Ikere Ekiti, after its establishment by the state government.
Oba Adu noted that the legal icon had also donated medical facilities, paid medical bills for the poor, empowered many youth, the aged and the widows.
‘’He has also established the News Cruise FM Radio, the first Private radio station in the community, among other contributions,’’ he said.
The Chairman of the Wole Olanipekun Foundation, Mr. Seyi Ogoji, charged the beneficiaries to key into the founder’s vision, as it was designed to provide succour to the sufferings of the masses.
“This foundation is targeting enterprising youth and supporting those considered to be weak for help. You must go out and multiply and contribute to the economy of this town and our country. The objective is to make you grow as employers of labour.
“According to information from the National Bureau of Statistics, 31 per cent of Nigerian youth lacked access to bank loans. Even the stringent conditions can’t allow you access it, if available. But Wole Olanipekun is giving this grant, free to our youth, without conditions.
“The only condition we expect from you is to judiciously utilize the money, to build yourself, your town, state and country,” he said. (NAN)