Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, will join the global celebration of #GivingTuesday (now known as ↑↓GoodTuesday) on December 1, 2015.
In 2012, the United Nations Foundation designated the first Tuesday in December as #GivingTuesday (now known as GoodTuesday in Nigeria), a day to engender and celebrate generosity globally. GoodTuesday is also a way of expressing gratitude for life, and for all the progress recorded in the outgoing year. Worldwide, the movement is endorsed, supported and promoted by political, social and business leaders, who come together to champion fund-raising for community development.
The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) believes that such national participation is truly appropriate, given the culture of compassionate consideration that Nigerians naturally practise. We find, for instance, that when the press publishes an appeal that some individual needs funds for a certain health procedure, such funds are usually over-subscribed. As you already know, earlier this year, CECP launched the BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria as the focus of its work for the immediate future. This is an on-going WAR, and will also be the main target of ↑↓GoodTuesday 2015. When this is accomplished, in subsequent years, ↑↓GoodTuesday will focus on other pressing national challenges in respect of education, the elderly and the physically challenged.
To be really effective, the GoodTuesday celebration in Nigeria will be marked on the first three Tuesdays in December, (i.e., December 1,8,15) 2015. Starting on Tuesday 1st December, and for the next 15 days, every Nigerian – either as an individual, family member or member of a corporate organization and other group – is urged to donate towards this national effort. Contributions can be made using the following platforms:
- Sms shortcode “44777” on any of the major mobile networks (Airtel, Etisalat, Glo, MTN) by sending the word ACT“ as an sms to “44777”;
- Electronic transfer using the code “777526” via ATM or online at quickteller.com;
- Direct bank transfer to the Zenith Bank project account in favor of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). Account number 1014594851.
On Tuesday December 8, 2015 the ↑↓GoodTuesday National Concert/banquet will hold at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. This Concert will feature eminent icons of the Nigerian entertainment industry. One of Nigeria’s foremost entertainment companies, Chocolate City Group, will anchor the National Concert. Then, on Tuesday December 15, 2015 the events will be rounded off with the ↑↓GoodTuesday Presidential Banquet to be held in Abuja. At both events, philanthropic personalities and corporations from all over the Federation will have the opportunity to impact the ↑↓GoodTuesday effort by making their donations to the “BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria”. Corporate organizations may sponsor the event, or also adopt the option of purchasing group tickets for their staff and customers.
For general information, it should be noted that CECP is an approved body listed under the 5th Schedule of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA). Therefore all corporate donations to CECP are tax deductible.
Nigeria has one of the worst cancer statistics globally. Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, and about 80,000 die (10 deaths every hour!). This death ratio (4: 5) compares unfavourably with that in other nations, and is a result of poor facilities. For example, India has over 120 Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC), mostly established through private philanthropy. Sadly, Nigeria has no CCC, and so Nigerians spend over $200 million annually on treatment abroad. Recent data by World Health Organization (WHO), shows that within four years Nigeria has had a steep rise in the number of deaths from the common cancers. In 2008 breast cancer killed 30 Nigerian women daily; by 2012 this had risen to 40 women daily. In 2008 prostate cancer killed 14 Nigerian men daily; by 2012 this had risen to 26. In 2008 liver cancer killed 24 Nigerians daily; by 2012 this had risen to 32 daily.
The “Big War” aims at “Taking wholistic health care to the Grassroots” using Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) and Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC). The first phase involves raising funds for 37 MCC, one for each state and Abuja. The cost of one MCC is $600,000 only.
The Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) is not only a tool for the prevention and early treatment of cancer, it is also a means of preventing the ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Malaria, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Schistosomiasis, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Helicobacter pylori and Hypertension). Please visit www.givingtide.org for details.
Gentlemen of the media, it is obvious that the media have a prominent role to play in communicating and propagating the objectives of both the ↑↓GoodTuesday movement and the Big War Against Cancer. Your support in passionately and effectively communicating this throughout the nation is one significant way of demonstrating your own commitment to the Big War.
To bring us to this stage, a number of people and organizations have volunteered their talent, time and resources to this effort. For instance, Eko Hotel is hosting this event pro bono, the Chocolate City group has been coordinating the group of artistes and celebrities to perform at the ↑↓GoodTuesday Concert, pro bono, and many other individuals and organizations are working behind the scene to ensure that we make a success of not just ↑↓GoodTuesday but the overall campaign. These will be recognized at appropriate times and events.