Renowned Nigerian philanthropist and founder of Alex Ikwechegh Foundation, Chief (Hon) Alex Ifeanyi Mascot Ikwechegh, was on Friday honoured for his contribution to national development.
Ikwechegh was honoured alongside the minister of finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; former Niger state first lady, Hajiya Zainab Kure; Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, and 56 other distinguished personalities who have impacted on humanity and contributed to nation building.
The event which held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton, in Abuja, as witnessed by our reporter, was organized by a group under the aegis of Project 60@60.
The event chaired by former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), also doubled as the launch of a special publication/compendium aimed at celebrating the individuals chosen from all walks of life.
The publication tagged ‘Celebrating Nigeria: The Nation Builders at 60,’ profiles all the awardees and their accomplishments in Nigeria and beyond.
They include ex-IGP Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar; Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Senator Ahmed Yarima Bakura and Dr. Mohammed Kyari Dikwa,mni, retired permanent secretary.
Others were Dele Momodu, media mogul; Abdulsamad Isyaka Rabiu, business tycoon; Prof. Charles Soludo, former CBN governor; Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, Dr. Umar Ardo, Ned Nwoko and Mallam Garba Shehu among others.
Meanwhile, according to the organizers, the choice of Hon. Alex was for his “diligence, hardwork, and patriotism” to fatherland and for contributing immensely to national development.
Speaking at the occasion, Ikwechegh, a former executive chairman of Aba North local government council in Abia state and founder of GrossField Group, said he was proud to identify with the organizers.
Vowing to do more for humanity and nation building, Hon. Alex expressed satisfaction that those recognized at the auspicious occasion were men and women who have distinguished themselves, one way or the other, towards the quest to realise a progressive society.
“…And like I always say, philanthropy, or whatever form of gesture that any Nigerian citizen would render to ensure that our children have a better future, is something that’s inherent in such individuals.
“Therefore (philanthropist) is not something you say is just a title but stored in these great Nigerian citizens that we are here to celebrate [today],” Hon. Alex Ikwechegh added.
The business mogul said, hence, it was important for everyone, at all time, to recognise such individuals to further reinforce their resolve towards contributing their little quota for a better Nigeria.
“I am sure I am not a popular face on television… However, there are certain people who would quietly do the little they can to see that Nigeria is a better country for our children,” he said, in an apparent veiled reference to himself.
Commenting on the compendium put together by the organizers, that brought the awardees together,, Alex said “I am truly elated and will continue to do my best to support whatever is deemed or required of us to ensure that Nigeria is a better place.”
Ikwechegh congratulated the conveners of the project, while appreciating the awardees, saying; “we are all passionate about what we are doing… More reasons why only men of great repute have gathered [here].”
He, thereafter, announced the donation of the whopping sum of N10 million to support the Compendium, describing it as plausible, and the right thing to do.
“We have always propagated empathy, compassion and furtherance of philanthropic activities for us to realise a progressive Nigeria,” he said, adding, “a nation that is together; is stronger.”
On his part, project coordinator, Dr. Abubakar Mohammed, said, “the Nation Builders at 60 is a special publication which is aimed at celebrating outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavours and contributed immensely to the Nigerian project.”
“The publication will help to promote mutual understanding, foster inter-group harmony and tolerance, advance national cohesion and integration, and encourage peaceful co-existence as well as inspire the younger generation,” he added.
Chief Hon. Alex Ikwechegh, the Nkuma Dike Ndigbo, has through his Alex Ikwechegh Foundation, donated to the poor and carried out several philanthropic gestures across the country.
His distribution of free fuel and kerosene has become an annual event in the whole of Abia state, a gesture which marks the philanthropist’s August 25th birthdays.
During the coronavirus-imposed lockdown across the country, Hon. Ikwechegh embarked on free distribution of palliatives to the good people of Abia state.
He also, through his Alex Ikwechegh Foundation, donated cash gifts and other items to widows in Abia and offset the hospital bills of many including a woman whose fingers were allegedly cut off by Fulani herders in the State.
Hon. Ikwechegh had in 2019 donated household items including mattresses, pots, buckets, food items and clothing to victims of police attacks in Ndiegoro, a community in Aba South local government area of Abia.
Also not left out in Alex Ikwechegh’s numerous philanthropic acts is the former NEPA cash office in Igbere, which now wears a new look, following its reconstruction by the philanthropist.
In the area of security, because Alex Ikwechegh believes his people must be protected at all times, the Aba-born philanthropist has carried out donation of vehicles to several vigilante groups.
As a lover of education, Hon. Alex Ikwechegh has thousands of students under his Alex Ikwechegh Foundation scholarship scheme, including pupils and students from Abia.
He singlehandedly reconstructed the Igbere Community secondary school in Igbere, Abia State, and has continued to donate millions to uplift the downtrodden and orphans in the society at every given opportunity.
On December 10, 2020 at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja, Ikwechegh will also be honoured with the Igbere TV Leadership Excellence Awards ‘Personality of the Year’ for his contribution to humanity and nation building, alongside other eminent awardees, following his emergence through a seven-day online poll.