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2019: 25m Disabled Nigerians Back Atiku for President

Abuja, Nigeria, Nov. 5, 2018: The National Disability Empowerment Forum (NADEF), an umbrella organization for 25 million physically challenged Nigerians, has backed the candidature of PDP Presidential flag bearer in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar.

The endorsement was contained in NADEF’s letter of appreciation sent to Atiku Abubakar today in Abuja to thank him for donating N10 million to the nation’s Amputee Football Team which enabled the squad to represent Nigeria at the ongoing Amputee World cup Championship in Mexico.

“25 million Nigerians living with disability are solidly behind you come 2019’’, the forum said in the letter signed by its President, Dr. Christopher Nwanoro.

“Your Excellency, we pray that the Almighty God will reward you greatly for your heart of gold towards people living with disabilities and humanity in general”, Nwanoro said.

Furthermore, the group said that Atiku’s donation “salvaged the situation, making it possible for the team to participate in the ongoing championship”.

Nwanoro, who himself is blind and is a beneficiary of Atiku’s scholarship scheme that saw him through his postgraduate studies, described the gesture as “another demonstration of Atiku’s love towards persons living with disability”.

It will be recalled that on Oct. 22, 2018, a day to the commencement of the championship, NADEF and Nigeria Amputee Football Federation (NAFF) made a presentation to Atiku seeking his financial support to enable the team travel to Mexico for the championship, a request which the former Vice President obliged with the donation of N10 million.

NAFF through Fred Edoreh, its World Cup Project Coordinator had complained that for three consecutive times the team had through self-help attended Africa Amputee Football Nations Cup, qualified for the global series but did not make the trips because of funding gaps.

Edoreh explained that if the team failed to show up at the 2018 world cup, which would be the fourth time, the Nigerian side would be suspended from participating in all international competitions, adding that the team would be disillusioned if such situation was allowed to be their fate.

“It will close the windows of opportunities which the sport offers for the engagement of physically challenged persons in Nigeria,” he said.

The project coordinator said that the team of 15 players and five officials needed a total of N27 million to defray the costs for return tickets, camping, procurement of equipment, upkeep and other logistics requirements and that N10 million had been raised from public appeal for funding and donation from the Super Eagles.

NAFF said that although it had written letters to relevant government agencies and corporate organizations seeking for their financial support, no response was received.

Meanwhile, the squad won its first world cup match against El-Salvador on Oct. 30, 2018 by a lone goal. Ecobank Academy works to enhance Africa’s health systems through financial and leadership trainings

The programme was co-designed by Ecobank Academy and The Global Fund with support from leading organisations in financial management, leadership and execution

Ecobank Academy, a corporate university of the leading independent pan-African banking group in collaboration with Ecobank Foundation (EcobankFoundation.org), has launched an innovative development programme aimed at improving Africa’s health systems through rigorous financial management, effective leadership development and sound implementation capabilities.

The programme was co-designed by Ecobank Academy and The Global Fund with support from leading organisations in financial management, leadership and execution. The Honorable Minister of Health of Togo, Moustafa Mijiyawa; Head of Grant Management Division, Mark Eddinton for The Global Fund; and Amin Manekia, Ecobank’s Group Executive for Corporate & Investment Banking, inaugurated the programme.

Speaking at the opening on behalf of Ecobank’s Group CEO, Mr. Manekia said: “Ecobank from its inception, has embraced a commitment to enhance economic development across Africa. Ecobank has not only become a world-class pan-African institution, it is also a torchbearer for a new Africa. The bank has become part of the mainstream banking culture in 36 African countries and is fully supportive of organisations that work continuously to improve the socio-economic transformation of our communities alongside governments and the private sector.”

The curriculum seeks to expand the skills of grant implementers and includes modules on leadership, strategy, knowledge management and sharing of best practices. At the heart of this training is the desire to help implementing partners play their part in driving long-lasting impact in the communities they serve. They are not only accountable for the grants they are implementing, they are also at the forefront of the mission to end HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis as epidemics and build resilient and strong health systems. Ecobank’s vision is to ensure that access to knowledge will not limit an organisation’s ability to deliver on its mission.

On behalf of their teams, Simon Rey, Ecobank Group Head for Ecobank Academy, Talent and Organisational Development and Carl Manlan, Chief Operating Officer for Ecobank Foundation jointly commented: “We fundamentally believe that it is in all our interest to build a knowledgeable pool of practitioners that can become leaders in their fields. This training is organised because we believe that an ecosystem of finance managers in the development sector who are well trained and equipped to save lives will stretch every CFA Franc, Dollar or Euro that are disbursed for the purpose.”

Creating the infrastructure to transform finance managers into leaders of change is the way forward. Improving access to knowledge and learning opportunities will propel implementing partners to manage funds for even greater results for communities.

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