- Lauds efforts of Dangote, Adebutu, Ovia others
FORMER president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has called for collaboration from government, philanthropic organisations and well meaning Nigerians to in the fight against cancer, which had claimed many lives.
He said this over the weekend while delivering a lecture on “Philanthropy and Ethics: A lesson from History”, at the 40th anniversary of Primus Torchbearer, a philanthropic organisation, in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo said that medical reports had it that the country would be recording about 21 million new cases of cancer with an attendant effect of 13 million deaths by the year 2030.
The lecture also witnessed the special fund raising for the establishment of cancer awareness and diagnostic centre in Abeokuta, submitting that most cancer diagnostic centres all over the world were supported by charity organisations.
He noted that government alone cannot fund the treatment of the aliment, emphasising the need for people of goodwill to support what he described as “a worthy and commendable venture” of Primus Torchbearers.
The former president appreciated the commitment of great Africans such as Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Sir Kessington Adebutu, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia as well as Strive Masiyiwa in their war against cancer in Nigeria and Africa.
He said, “I believe in the last 10 years or so, we have started getting Nigerians who had made money or that fortune had smiled on them and they have tried to show philanthropic gestures, people like Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia and Sir Kessington Adebutu among others.
“Those that are doing, let us encourage them while those that are not doing, let us give them incentives to do it. The best thing of course is that they can deduct whatever they give as deductible from tax offices, which we can by setting up a foundation and ask the ministry of finance to give you a tax relief on whatever you do.”
The President of Primus Torchbearers, Sir Soji Amusan, said the organisation decided to establish the cancer awareness and diagnostic centre as a way of providing an avenue for the less privileged to be educated on what to do as well as to have access to medical facilities for early detection of the dreaded cancer disease.