Business leader and Political economist, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, has been conferred with the Global Humanitarian Award for his untiring efforts towards lifting the poor out of poverty and impacting on the lives of the less privileged.
Okonkwo, who is Founder of Pro-Value Humanity Foundation, a foundation he set up to help recreate humanity bagged the award at an event marking Nigeria’s 59th Independence anniversary, which held at Martin’s Crosswinds in Maryland, the United States of America (USA).
The event, which was hosted by The Nigeria Friendship Association (NigFA), had in attendance Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Amb. Sylvanus Nsofor, ex-Adviser to President Barack Obama on Healthcare, Dr. Adaeze Enekwachi, who also bagged an award of excellence, among many others. She also delivered the keynote address on the night.
Speaking after the award was presented to him by Arinze Aguna, President of the Association, Dr. Okonkwo called on Nigerian’s in the Diaspora to avail Nigeria of their expertise in the development of human capital and infrastructure.
He said their exposure to the world outside Nigeria presents them with another view of reality as it ought to be, urging them to help change the narrative on leadership in Nigeria by getting more involved in the political process.
“You have the right kind of people among you, both those here and those who are not here. You should make efforts to come together and help drive a new narrative on the leadership direction in Nigeria”, Okonkwo said.
He also challenged them on influencing the change process by impacting of their people back home on the need to revitalize age-long values that built the people and communities.
According to Okonkwo, the task of improving living conditions back home is enormous and required the sacrifice of privileged and experienced Nigerians to tackle.
He stated that his involvement in the developmental challenges in Anambra state, and Nigeria in general, was because of his belief in the country and the need to improve the living conditions of the people adding that his scholarship scheme was aimed at developing human capital and lifting Nigerians out of poverty.
“Our Nigeria is a great country. Nigeria of your dream is possible. I believe that Nigeria. I studied in Russia. I lived in this Maryland. But I have decided that my address must be in Nigeria”, he said to wild applause
Dr. Okonkwo, who recently at an event held at the Adoration Ground in Uke, Anambra state, announced the award of 100 scholarships and 10 employments to youths who had gathered at the monthly prayer and worship session organized by Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obinmna (Also Known As Ebube Muonso), had previously at the Rotary Youth Leadership booth camp in Abuja doled out similar scholarships and job offers to youth.
He was, also, early last month awarded the Rotary International Youth Leadership Icon award for his efforts at youth and human capital development in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event in the USA, Aguna said Okonkwo was chosen for the global award because of his humanitarian services to the people.
“Having looked around from here, we came to the conclusion that there is none worthy of this Global Humanitarian Award other than Dr. Okonkwo, who through his businesses and philanthropic organizations have impacted the lives of people back home more positively”, he said.
PICTURE CAPTION: Dr Obiora Okonkwo flanked by his wife, Gina, and officials of the Nigeria Friendship Association, USA, soon after he was handed th Global Humanitarian award.