• Working together to empower people will reduce unemployment, crime –Dr. Imoh

    Working together to empower people will reduce unemployment crime dr Imoh - nigeria newspapers online
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    By Sunday Ani

    Windward International Limited is a super successful firm that imports and distributes vehicle tyres. Established by Dr. Nkoli Imoh, Windward International runs on a business philosophy anchored on quality, efficiency, transparency and perfect finishing. The firm is also into Oil & Gas as well as real estate businesses.

    Dr Imoh finds joy and fulfillment in doing charity work through her platform, Adadioramma Foundation, which runs as Executive Director. As the Founder, she believes strongly that helping people, particularly widows and the needy in society, is a divine mandate in her life.

    In this interview, she speaks on her works, how to reduce unemployment and what her foundation is doing to empower people among others.

    You started the Foundation in 2000. What motivated you to establish it?

    I started helping people at a very tender age of five. I found myself always giving out things to my friends as a child. If my parents bought clothes for me during Christmas and we travelled to the village for the celebration, I would give out my new clothes to my friends in the village and wear their old ones. Each time my parents bought clothes for me, I would keep them and when we got to the village, I would give them to other children, and collect their old clothes in exchange. It gave me joy that my friends were okay, because I knew we were better off than them then. That was how it started.

    If I got to school and they gave me something, I would share what I had with everybody and I would be fine. Sometimes, my parents would be worried, especially my mother. My father noticed it and encouraged me. He said it was a call and I should obey the call. He would always pray to God to bless me to do the work He has given to me, so that I can touch lives and bring people out of poverty.

    If I have money I will give it to people and within a short period of time I will get that money back. The people that I give are those that cannot repay me and I am not even expecting anything from them. I am only fulfilling the mandate of God in my life.

    How has it been since you started?

    I started from my village in Umuakabuike-Umudike Ukpor in Nnewi-South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Every time I travel back home in December, I give things out to people. I like investing in human beings, especially the widows and the less privileged. I give out motorcycles, tricycles, and foodstuff. I also pay children’s school fees, and there are so many of them on my payroll. With what I do, some people call me Mother Theresa.

    The foundation showcased me to the world and everybody knows that I give out things to the less privileged in society. Sometimes I give out things that surprise people. People wonder how I am able to do certain things. Something they think is not possible, but God will just help me.


    What drives your passion to keep touching lives?

    Seeing people happy and successful is what drives my passion. Through the foundation, we have empowered many, but with greater emphasis on the unemployed youths, orphans and widows.

    As it stands today, we have given out a total of 50 cars and buses of various classes, 500 motorcycles, 1000 sewing machines, 1000 vulcanizing machines, 1000 cellophane machines, 500 sets of hairdressing equipment, and 1000 generators, among others.

    We have also opened barbing salons for over 400 youths across the 326 wards in Anambra State, built houses for widows, and provided funds for people to establish small-scale businesses.

    We have vocational centres, where we teach people how to do things with their hands. We employ professionals in the various fields to train the people, and after the training, we empower them with necessary equipment needed for the skills they have learnt, so that they can start working on their own and also employ others around them.

    How are the beneficiaries fairing? Do you have any monitoring mechanism in place to ensure that what you empowered them with is not sold?

    We have our monitoring team. So, as we are empowering them, we are watching their progress. If we give you money and we find out that you are doing well with it, we will increase it for you. So, it makes them serious and eager to make the best use of what is given to them, and we are happy with that. We have done empowerment in Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, and Edo states; mainly in the South East and South-South.

    What has kept you going since you started?

    I like putting smiles on people’s faces. I use my resources and I am not expecting anything in return. I am just doing it because I know it’s a call that I have, and if I don’t do it, it will seem as if something is missing.

    Do you have any regret about what you do, and have you ever felt like quitting?

    There has never been any regret since I started, and there will never be, because I see what I do as a call from God and God has been my sustenance.

    The only time we stopped for a while was during the height of insecurity in Anambra State, but the place is okay now.

    What are some of the challenges you have encountered in the past?

    There is not much challenge because I am doing it willingly from my heart. I don’t force myself to do what I do. I do it the way I will be happy, and the person I will give to will also be happy. There is nothing like a challenge.

    Before you ventured into charity work, what were you doing?

    I was and still do my business. And as I said, I started this from a young age. When I grew up, I got married, had my children and I still continued with my business and empowering people. If I don’t do it, it’s like I am not complete.

    What kind of business do you do apart from charity work?

    I am a successful trader, dealing mostly in vehicle tyres in Lagos. I import vehicle tyres, and I am also into oil and gas, and real estate businesses.

    My flagship organisation is Windward International Limited, and my business philosophy is anchored on quality, efficiency, transparency and perfect finishing.

    This business philosophy, coupled with our unconditional use of a formidable team of intellectuals as consultants, hold the key to my business successes, and God has been faithful.

    Who do you look up as your mentors?

    Watching how Bill Gates is helping people, I know that one day, God will do it in such a way that the whole world will know of my Foundation.

    Your Foundation will be 25 next year. Where do you want to see it in the next five to 10 years?

    We will be 25 years by the grace of God next year. Another celebration will be when we clock 50 years and we are looking forward to that. But before then, I know that all the people I am helping now will help others so that the foundation will be growing from strength to strength. I see the whole world talking about this Foundation in the next few years.

    What advice do you have for well-meaning Nigerians as regards helping the needy?

    My advice for other well-meaning Nigerians is to emulate what we do at Adadioramma Foundation, where we help and empower people. There are so many people that need help in this country. We cannot be everywhere. Share the little with others; don’t say you don’t have much. Start from the little that you have because by doing that, the world will be a better place to live in.

    I pray that Nigerians will cultivate the habit of helping people without expecting anything in return.

    The first award I got was in Switzerland. The organisers of the award went to my village to ask questions about the Foundation from people in the village. Anyone they asked about me would tell them, “She is the one that bought this motorcycle that I am riding for me.” Everywhere they went, they just asked people randomly about me and they got pleasant responses. They were told about all the houses I built for windows.

    I am not doing what I do for people to praise me; I am just doing what God sent me to do and I am happy doing it. I want you to know that all these crimes going on in the country are because people don’t have anything to do. If everybody shares the little they have with others, all will be fine and the crime will reduce.

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