Taiwo Oludotun: A search on Google, Wikipedia or, even the Encyclopaedia Britannica, if you want do an advanced search will tell you that philanthropy “derives from the ancient Greek phrase ‘phylantropia,’ meaning ‘to love people’.
Today, the concept of philanthropy includes the act of voluntary giving by individuals or groups to promote the common good. Sometimes, certain levels of giving is referred to as charity and there is a good number of people everywhere that give a lot of charity to a huge of people around them.
A recent study concluded that Microsoft’s Bill Gates was number one on the list of the world’s top philanthropists with $27 billion in lifetime donations, followed by Warren Buffet with $21 billion, George Soros at $8 billion, Azim Premji, the Indian-American of Wipro, $8 billion down to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
In Nigeria, Wealth writers agree that Aliko Dangote. Rochas Okorocha, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia, Theophilus Danjuma, Emeka Ofor and Oba Otudeko in this particular order are among top philanthropists in Nigeria. How much each of the above Nigerian free givers has given out over time is, however, not known or documented.
Yet, there are hundreds more Nigerian philanthropists that remain anonymous and will never reveal the extent of their giving to several causes and charities. For instance, Engineer Taiwo Oludotun who is so passionate about his people and their development has poured millions of naira into his community’s development, to the point that his community in Abeokuta North Local Government in Ogun central district of the Gateway state has witnessed a huge transformation from a totally inconsequential community to a giant, well-developed town.
Recently, he taught it expedient to give the primary 1—6 pupils free holiday coaching to improve their knowledge and understanding of what they will eventually be taught in school whenever they resume back to their various schools of study.
The free holiday coaching to the pupils will prepared them towards their school curriculum and fasten their knowledge in their various departments.
This level of philanthropy is totally unknown not only in this part of the world but even worldwide. For a man or woman to take up the facilitation of infrastructure – roads, bridges, primary and secondary schools, churches of different denominations for his own people is probably the height of giving.
This has not included the number of people he has rekindled their hope in futhering their studies through scholarship scheme, Notable also is the fact that many of those that have benefited from his largesse are not necessarily his relations.
If you witness how he bring relief to people in need you will begin to ask yourself, is this man a Nigerian? Due to his golden heart of giving back to the society.
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Engineer Taiwo Oludotun’s huge charitable giving is extraordinary and certainly dwarfs that of other philanthropists in this part of the world. His philanthropy gesture has earned him hundreds of awards from groups, associations in a way of encouragement to do more.
“I never contemplated this idea of politics when I began caring for my peoples’ welfare, but I was just interested in developing the place and by extension, the whole Ogun state populace and Nigeria ultimately”, Some of my friends and associate do ask me question about venturing into murky water of politics in Nigeria “ Up till this moment, many of my friends always wondered why I am venturing into the murky waters of Nigerian politics, but I believe that if good people abstain from the affairs of the land, there will be no future for our children, particularly the unborn who could be left with no meaningful future in the years ahead.” he said.
Engineer Taiwo Oludotun feels that he cannot sit idly by when his people are enveloped in misery and severe poverty while God has made the kind of provisions he gave him. He said that he cannot wallow in wealth while the bulk of his people are wallowing in poverty, adding, “For God has given me more than I need for my immediate and extended family members and it was only fair that I distributed the huge extras for the welfare of my people.”
In the nearest future, if mandate is given to Engineer Taiwo Oludotun, he will boost his philanthropy gesture through increase in welfare projects that will ease people of his community and beyond.
His recent representation as commissioner for rural development has further widen his idea in the area of development in each and every area of Ogun state. Also, he served meritoriously as the honorable commissioner of forestry where he made sure our reserve is protected and aforestation of trees are implemented to avoid future dangers.
Solanke Ayomideji Taiwo writes from Abeokuta, Ogun state.