Arthur Eze: an unusual philanthropist on the rise
By Olivier Okpala
More Over the years, the famous oil mogul Prince Arthur Eze has remained an enigma and phenomenon in Nigeria’s philanthropic space.
Arthur Eze, who is from the royal family of the kingdom of Ukpo, in the Dunukofia clan, in the state of Anambra, is the chairman of Orlanto Atlas Petroleum, the largest indigenous oil exploration company in Africa.
Prince Eze is known to be very close to the corridors of power in Africa and the world in general, but always closer to the oppressed. This is why Nigerians who have followed the trajectory of this business mogul will easily point out his record as a borderless philanthropist who is not limited by tribe, politics or religion.
Prince Eze’s philanthropy knows no boundaries, as he distributes to the poor, the homeless, the sick and the needy; no wonder he’s known as Ozoigbondu, the Igbo word for “one who saves lives”.
For politicians and candidates for political office, it is the destination whose keys unlock political opportunities and fortunes.
The Ukpo-born prince is also known to have donated huge sums of money to political wannabes of all parties over the decades, especially in his state of Anambra, without asking for anything in return or blowing the money. neck for patronage.
His achievements in the field of human development are unprecedented. Unlike many who do it for political reasons and in order to gain popularity, Prince Eze goes to his charity without blowing a trumpet. For him, philanthropy is just a way of life and not an opportunity to show off.
Although a native of Anambra State, Prince Eze built an airlift in Ebonyi State with his funds without asking for government intervention a few years ago.
He has been repeatedly described as an illustrious son of Ndigbo who used his wealth to touch the lives of others.
In 2013, he donated $ 12 million toward the construction of the Anglican Deanery and St. Stephen’s Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State.
The Ijaw, and not the Igbo, are the main beneficiaries of this Youth Development Center. It’s nationalism!
Prince Eze subsequently donated $ 800,000 for the construction of two primary schools in the communities of Yirol and Rumbek in central South Sudan. This is Pan-Africanism!
Through Prince Eze, the Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disease received the sum of N5 million for a standard sickle cell clinic in Ukpo, in the Dunukofia Council region of Anambra State.
He was among those who contributed to the relief needs of the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, the ‘Russia 2018’ FIFA World Cup, the 2013 flood relief efforts and the mitigation of the crisis. of COVID-19.
A church in the Abagana community benefited from his free donations by distributing 20 million naira for musical instruments and renovations in 2015.
Prince Eze single-handedly built a medical research unit for Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra state. He modernized the local market near Ukpo Palace and also created road networks connecting the Dunukofia clan to nearby towns like Abba, Awkuzu, Ifite-Dunu and Abagana.
This underscores its acceptance across the country.
And that is why he remains perhaps the brightest star of the Igbo race across the world.
To ensure his survival in the service of humanity, a few years ago Prince Eze, who studied mechanical and chemical engineering at California State University in Long Beach, USA, between 1974 and 1978, founded Prince Arthur Eze Philanthropy and Empowerment International to conduct his charitable activities.
The aim of the NGO is to establish an organized structure and consolidated channels of empowerment and philanthropy.
Prince Eze’s focus is not on how rich he is, but how much he gives back to society. On this ground, he dominates all his peers.
It is this nationalist perspective of the philanthropist that ennobled the Arewa Youth Council of Nigeria to recently nominate him for the Sir Ahmadu Bello Platinum Leadership Excellence Award as “Jarman Matasan Arewa”, which means “exceptional philanthropist” for young people. from northern Nigeria.
The National Igbo Youth Association hailed the northern group’s decision to honor Prince Eze at a ceremony in Abuja on Wednesday this week.
The association is proud to praise Prince Eze even during his lifetime.
“For all that you have done to uplift the oppressed of misery and pain, words alone cannot be enough to say thank you. If there were great hearts like Chief Arthur Eze in every community or nation, then the problems of the poor masses would have been solved.
“Dear Prince Arthur Eze, as you continue to live in good health and harmony with your people and humanity as a whole, it is our prayer that the Good Lord will continue to support you for the good of the common man wherever he is!”
• Okpala, a public affair
analyst, lives in Enugu