Lagos explosion: Dangote, Zenith bank donate N100m each to victims

Corporate organizations, including Dangote Cement Plc. and Zenith Bank Plc., on Wednesday, were on condolence visits to the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to commiserate with him and the state on the explosion that rocked Abule Ado area of Lagos, leaving more than 20 dead and several injured, with properties worth billions of naira destroyed.

The two corporate bodies which came in turn and led by Emmanuel Ikazoboh for Dangote Cement and Ebenezer Onyeagwu, who is Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, met the governor at the State House, Marina, expressing sadness over the incident while announcing a donation of N100million each to the N2billion Fund earlier launched by the state government.

Ikazoboh announced a donation of N100million worth of cement for the reconstruction of the damaged part of Abule Ado, which was affected by the explosion, while Zenith Bank made a donation of the same amount for the care of victims of the disaster, even as he pledged for more in the course of time.

It would be recalled that Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was on a visit to the site on Monday had announced the launch of a N2billion Fund on behalf of the state government for victims of the disaster, and immediately put into it a sum of N250million, even as he enjoined Nigerians to see the gesture as an opportunity to contribute their own quota and be part of rebuilding the damaged portion of the state.

Ikazoboh, who is Independent Non-Executive Director of Dangote Cement Plc., in his remark, said that the visit to the governor was to introduce the new management of the company and to also commiserate with him on the sad incident that took place at Abule Ado.

He stated that the management had directed that N100million worth of cement be donated towards the reconstruction of the rebuilding of the explosion site.

“We are specifically here to inform the governor of the change in the top management of Dangote, the former Group Managing Director, Engr Joseph Makoju has retired and Michel Puchercos took over from him.

“The other reason is to commiserate with the governor and to pledge our support that we would help in the reconstruction of the damaged part of the state.

“We have been directed by the management of the company to make available N100million worth of cement for the rebuilding of the damaged portion of Abule Ado,” he said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, in his remark, expressed appreciation for the visit and the donation, disclosing that other good-spirited Nigerians have also been donating to the fund towards rebuilding the damaged site, occasioned by the pipeline explosion.

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The governor equally thanked Nigerians, Lagosians as well as other corporate organisations for their contribution and donations into the N2billion Soba Abule Ado explosion’s emergency relief fund, assuring that the funds would be transparently managed.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Onyeagwu, in his address, said the aim of their visits was to reassure the governor of their support in taking care of the people affected by the explosion as well as commiserate with the state government on the incident.

According to Onyeagwu, who recalled that the Sunday incident initially appeared like a movie until it was later confirmed, the visit was also to thank the state government for its prompt approach in handling the traumatic experience, praying that God would comfort the families of those affected by the explosion.

While announcing the donation, the bank executive expressed the belief that it would, to some extent, ameliorate the suffering and pains of the victims of the disaster.

“Zenith Bank is making an immediate donation of N100million. We hope it would ameliorate the suffering of the victims. We pray God would console the families of those who died during the disaster.

“Mr. Governor, please accept our sympathy, we pray Lagos wouldn’t go through such again,” he said.

Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu thanked the Zenith Bank team for the visit and the donation, just as he described the last Sunday incident as devastating, adding: “It was like a war zone.”

The governor, while describing the visit as apt, said the various donations pouring in would let the committee in charge of managing the Fund have enough resources to work with, even as he equally noted that “money would never replace everything but to let the victims know we are with them.”

He congratulated the bank for successfully holding its Annual General Meeting, while wishing it the best in all its endeavours.

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