The O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation has announced a gift of N50 million to endow the High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs Distinguished Professorial Chair in Geriatric Care at the Rivers State University.
The announcement was made on Wednesday May 22, 2019 by chairman of the occasion former military president of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.), GCFR who was represented by General Jones Arogbofa (rtd.) at a special ceremony, ‘A Legacy of Philanthropic Excellence,’ in honor of the Foundation’s grand benefactor, High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs on his first posthumous birthday.
He said, “High Chief Lulu-Briggs made caring of the elderly his top priority. As a result, the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation’s first Programme was its Care for the Elderly Programme.”
He noted that the study of Geriatrics has not received the attention it deserves in Nigeria, despite a growing number of elderly in the society.
More than 9 million Nigerians are aged 60 and above and according to the global age index this number will be over 20 million by 2030.
He said, “Based on income security, health status, education and employment, the index ranked Nigeria as one of the worst nations for older people to live in. We believe this is because there are presently only a handful of institutions working specifically on geriatrics in Nigeria.”
“We are confident that the output from this distinguished chair will contribute to what is still pioneering work needed to secure adequate resources, and to promoting healthy aging.”
Professor Raphael Oruambo the Provost of the College of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University, RSU, represented the Vice Chancellor of RSU, Professor Blessing Didia. Receiving the gift on behalf of Rivers State University, he said it was a revolution in geriatric care in Nigeria and would fund the establishment of a ward dedicated to geriatric care at their teaching hospital in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
As part of the ceremony, the Foundation also made a special disbursement from its to 89 micro and small business owners in Rivers State. Mrs. Ineba Ideriah Tongkam, Director of Programmes at the Foundation explained
that the entrepreneurs were special to the Foundation because, “During High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs’s final chieftain/spiritual engagement, on December 26, 2018, at the Annual Oruwari Briggs War Canoe House Thanksgiving Ceremony, he made a personal commitment to provide working capital and business assets to a cohort of micro and small entrepreneurs. Today’s disbursement is the fulfillment of that promise.”
The elated entrepreneurs received working capital grants and business equipment including, deep freezers, sewing machines, motor cycles, hair salon equipment, carpentry tools, amongst others.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman praised the honoree, “High Chief (Dr.) O.B.Lulu-Briggs to me was one Nigerian who cut his niche in life through humanitarian service, and invested heavily in others as a show of gratitude to a country that nurtured him from a humble background to one that became a household name. He was exemplary in his disposition to issues, and he was thorough in his business and other engagements. He was kind, generous, and urbane in his dealings and interactions with those he came across from different backgrounds. He was a family man who nurtured peaceful co-existence as an irrevocable hobby. He was there for all as long as it promotes the good of humanity.”
He held up his life as one to emulated, “We must strive to imbibe the right attitude in our engagements in life to enable us leave legacies that will stand the test of time. I also believe he was the grand benefactor of his Foundation in part because of the success of his oil and gas company, Moni Pulo Limited and his other business interests.”
In her welcome remarks ,Chairman of the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs who spoke through her daughter, Mrs. Solate Ovunda-Akarolo said, “We are also using this to signal to our stakeholders the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation’s commitment to carry on his legacy of philanthropic excellence in perpetuity.”
The O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation is a non-partisan, non-governmental organization that was established in 2001 with 100 percent funding by its grand benefactor High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs. Its mission is to implement sustainable interventions and socio-economic advocacy that enhance the quality of life for the under-served. Its programmes are; Care for Life, also popularly called, ‘Care for the Elderly’, Free Medical Missions, Access to Clean Water and Sanitation, Education and Scholarships, and Microcredit and Entrepreneurship.