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The Paul Erinne Foundation: Stamping out poverty, hunger in Nigeria



Engr. Paul Tunde Erinne

Food security has in recent times become most-valued and desired across all status, communities and institutions due to the effects of corruption which has over the years wrecked serious havoc, being a cankerworm against adequate welfare of Nigeria citizens as well as socioeconomic growth and development of the nation.

The ugly scenarios has no doubt brew joblessness, hunger and high level poverty among others.

Religious orientation aside, many people believe that with a serious anti-corruption drive, Sub-Sahara Africa, and Nigeria in particular, can achieve speedy economic growth to the benefit of the citizens.

Thus, in a country where corruption thrives, if care was not taken, such society will be ruined by corruption.

As part of efforts towards improving thee quality of lives and support development of human capital for the needs of a modern society within a caring healthcare system, a Non-Governmental Organization, The Paul Erinne Foundation, was established with core values to providing care and empathy to the less privileged and larger public.

The Founder of the NGO, Engr. Paul Tunde Erinne, said that his aim is to make the society better than he met it, adding that his life ambition is to live and die for the poor through passionate work and believe that any blessing from God must be reflected in the ways it affects others.

Speaking on the achievements of the foundation since 30 years of its existence, the Engr. Erinne said that indigenes of Enugu, Kogi, Kwara, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi, Lagos, Ondo and Taraba states have benefited from the largesse of the Foundation.

He said that the foundation has made contributions in reducing the burden of poverty in such areas as:
1. Basic Health: Building of Health Centres. Provision of water. Provision of food stuff.
2. Empowerment for Sustainability: Skills acquisition. Micro-credits. Support for Agriculture.
3. Education: Building of school blocks and equipping of classrooms. Award of Bursaries/Scholarships.
4. Shelter: Provision of shelter for widows.

In specific terms, among activities of the foundation includes; annual end-of-year food distribution to widows, for example at The Cathedral Of The Good Shepherd in Enugu, Enugu State. On the average, 4,000 widows benefit from the exercise on the 24th of every December.

A four-storey building was erected in 2008, and donated to Paul University Awka, Anambra state, while Assembly Hall building was also built for Union Secondary School, Okija, Anambra state and donated to the school in 2016.

A house was built for a widow at Nanka, Anambra State, in 2019 and Saint Paul’s charity home for a widow, at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Ogbete, Enugu state, is nearing completion.

St. Peters Anglican Church, Okija, Anambra state and Saint Anthonys Catholic Church, Ogui-New Layout, Enugu, were completed in 2013. The structures were supported with provision of high quality aluminium windows.

Umuapani Village Hall, Ubahu Okija, Anambra state was built and completed with a borehole, and donated by the founder in 2015.

Another project by the foundation was completion of the Reverend Father’s house from the first floor level, at Christ The King Parish, Ubahu Okija, Anambra state. The project was dedicated on Easter Monday, 2019.

Four-storey building built and donated by the founder to Saint Joseph’s Home for physically and mentally challenged children, and orphans is managed by the Holy Family Sisters Of The Needy. The building was donated in 2007. The upkeep of the home is supported by the Paul Erinne Foundation.

The foundation, which started as a deep concern and passion by the founder to make the society better than he met it, has improved life and service to humanity.

“The Paul Erinne Foundation is, therefore, conceived in line with best global practices not just to lift Nigerians out of poverty but to also improve the quality of life. This commitment has been the driving force in the interventions the Foundation has made in health-care support, in human empowerment, and in human capital development across many cities in Nigeria. The Foundation is guided by the philosophy that developing men and women should come first, before developing cities”, the founder said.

“Paul Erinne Foundation started informally in 1998, as a personal intervention by the Founder to bridge the gap in quality human capital and equip youths with skills for the future. Paul followed the example of his late father by paying school fees for over 50 students, a function which he has since transferred to the Foundation.

“Today, the number of beneficiaries has doubled both within and beyond our shores.
Until its formal registration in 2015, the Foundation was run by the Founder, who was following the footsteps of his educationists and philanthropists’ parents – Mr. D.C. Erinne and Mrs. D.E. Erinne, both now of blessed memory, of Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.

To ensure continuity and that the foundation outlives the founder, he said that the foundation is being managed by congregations of Roman Catholic Reverend Sisters and religious Reverend Fathers, namely; the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Congregation), the Holy Ghost Fathers, the Reverend Sisters of the Hand-made of Holy Child Jesus (HHCJ), The Daughters of Divine Love (DDL), and Holy Family Sisters of The Needy (HFSN).

Operating from Enugu, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, plays a pivotal advisory role geared towards achieving the laid-out goals of the Foundation.

Until her demise, the Foundation was ably assisted in policy formulation by Paul’s aunt, a well experienced and eminent lady; Mrs. Phoebe Chiadi Ajayi-Obe, second female SAN in Nigeria and the first from the Eastern part of Nigeria.

The founder’s cousin, Professor Ifeoma Enemuo, a one-time Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, and a lawyer by profession, is gradually filling the gap.

Apart from members of the clergy listed above, the board which also consists of highly placed individuals and founder’s junior brother, Dr. Sam Erinne, has been working harmoniously and strategically to upscale the various interventions of the Foundation, in assisting the poor and needy to realize their potentials and lead a much-fulfilled life.

As Nigerians and Nigeria’s government continue to struggle and find an equilibrium for peaceful co-existence in the society through adequate supply of food items and creation of jobs to the teeming youths, The Paul Erinne Foundation has already taken a lead in the campaign and advocacy both in principle and in practice for the general well-being of humanity.

Arowona Abdulazeez, a public analyst and media consultant writes via

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