First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, donates $100,000 toward building a hospital for Nigerians in Sierra Leone

Nigeria’s First Lady, Senator Oluemi Tinubu, when she visited Sierra Leone on Sunday, November 19, 2023

* NIDO SIERRA LEONE is the FIRST FRUIT among the Diaspora Chapters

The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Chairperson of Renewed Hope Initiative, Her Excellency, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, OON, CON has made good her words to support the health care delivery efforts of Nigerians in Diaspora, Sierra Leone Chapter (NIDO, SL) by donating $100,000.

The donation, according to a press statement by the organization, is a fulfilment of her pledge toward the construction of a first-class medical centre for Nigerians in Sierra Leone.

President of NIDO SL, Engineer Abiodun Oyebola, right, delivering his speech while Senator Oluremi Tinubu amd others listened with rapt attention

NIDO President in Sierra Leone, Engineer Abiodun Oyebola, requested her support due to the dire and urgent need for a medical centre, due to the dilapidated state of healthcare facilities in Sierra Leone. The NIDO MEDICAL CENTRE when completed and becomes operational will go a long way to address the medical needs of over 40,000 Nigerians living in Sierra Leone, and will no doubt complement the efforts of His Excellency, President Julis Maada Bio in closing the gaps in the health sector.

The audience, including membes of NIDO, Sierra Leone Chapter listening to Nigeria’s First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu when she was delivering her speech

Nigeria’s First Lady met with a cross-section of members of the Nigerians in Diaspora, Sierra Leone on Sunday, November 19, 2023, during her visit to the country as the Special Guest of Honour to the commemoration of UN World Day, hosted by Her Excellency, Dr. Fatima Bio, the First lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Nigeria’s First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, with President of NIDO SL, Engineer Abiodun Oyebola

Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation NIDO Sierra Leone SL was formed pursuant to a directive by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission NIDCOM in Abuja, headed by Hon Abike Dabiri. Hon. Dabiri-Erewa played a pivotal role in her characteristic professional way. Right from Abuja, she coordinated the meeting which proved to be the platform for Her Excellency, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu to meet with and inform the Nigerians in Sierra Leone of the great efforts being undertaken by her husband, His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to revamp the Nigerian ailing economy. The meeting, no doubt was huge success.  Nigerians in attendance were able to interact directly with Her Excellency, The First Lady, to get first-hand information and clarifications on various issues on the economy, security, social development, etc, raised by the executive members, Patrons and members of the Board of Trustees of the NIDO SL, led by their President, Abiodun Oyebola.

Nigeria’s First Lady in a group photograph with NIDO, SL members

The donation came in from the Renewed Hope Initiative, the humanitarian pet project of Her Excellency, Senator Tinubu. This is a very big boost to alleviate the challenges being faced by Nigerians in Sierra Leone, especially in the health delivery sector of the country. Recall that Sierra Leone is still grappling with the consequences of the 11-year brutal civil war that destroyed all national social infrastructure. Just as the government is struggling to reinstate the health and educational infrastructure, it recorded a big setback with the outbreak of the Ebola virus which ravaged the country from 2014 to early 2016 and killed over 4,000 people in the country. This was further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020 to 2022.

President of NIDO SL, Engineer Abiodun Oyebola, right, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and others

Massive support for the government and people in Sierra Leone in rebuilding the health sector is therefore a matter of very imperative concern. Some of these efforts are seen in the establishment of various private hospitals like Choithram Hospital (owned and managed by the Indians), Life Care Hospital (owned and managed by the Arabs), and The Chinese Hospital (owned and managed by the Chinese). As expected, these medical establishments naturally give priority to their nationals in the country while at the same time being open to the general public without any particular bias.

A portrait for the First Lady from NIDO, SL

Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Sierra Leone Chapter remains a trailblazer among the various NIDO chapters all over the world. NIDO Sierra Leone is the first to organise the largest single gathering of Nigerians abroad under one roof during the inauguration of President Abiodun Oyebola and his executives on July 6, 2019, where over 4, 500 Nigerians gathered to celebrate our national unity. This remains the largest gathering to date.

Similarly, the NIDO MEDICAL CENTRE, a project for non-profit, is the first of its kind in the diaspora.

Alhaji Abubakar Hashim, with Chief Tony Chinyere, at the occasion

The NIDO Medical Center will bridge the gap in the health sector in Sierra Leone, as it will cater for not only Nigerians, but also Sierra Leoneans and even foreign nationals in the country, in line with President Bio’s cardinal health policy.

It is therefore not surprising that NIDO Sierra Leone is the First Chapter to formally receive and have in audience our dear First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Senator Oluremi Tinubu who coincidentally was in Sierra Leone on her very first official trip outside Nigeria and in her capacity as the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Indeed, as NIDCOM chair, Hon Abike Dabiri once remarked, “NIDO SL has set the pace of development strides, for other similar organisations, worldwide, to emulate, under the able leadership of its President, Engineer Abiodun Oyebola”.