The senate has resolved to rescue Kanu Heart Foundation from take-over by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON.
The non-governmental organisation was founded by former superstar footballer, Kanu Nwankwo, to help underprivileged African children and young adults living with heart ailments.
Deputy Majority Leader, Bala Na’allah, who brought the issue to the notice of other senators, urged the red chamber to intervene in the predicament of the foundation as it is on the verge of takeover by AMCON over a loan it accessed.
He said, “We all know who we call Kanu Nwankwo. He used to be one of our prides as far as football in this country is concerned. The compelling reason why I find it expedite to bring this issue to the senate is the fact that Mr. Kanu Nwankwo while serving this country as a footballer, after having survived heart surgery decided that he is going to invest part of his proceeds for the purpose of doing a heart foundation to cater for the less-privileged in this country.
“As usual, with the things in this country, he decided that the money would be used for a hotel and the proceeds of the hotel would be used to save the less-privileged who cannot take care of their surgery as it relates to heart. Somewhere along the line, the requirement of the law is that there should be a management for the hotel on the purpose of supporting the foundation.”
He explained that the management in its volition received loans from a bank and was unable to repay, therefore putting the foundation in “trouble.”
“Acting in their wisdom or lack of it, they decided to approach a bank for loan without the consent of Mr. Kanu Nwankwo and he just woke up one day and discovered that the entire foundation is in trouble because it was alleged that AMCON had an interest in the loan taken by the foundation and where we are now Sir, the entire foundation is in trouble.
“I think it would be a disservice to the less privileged who he intended to help by virtue of his position, for the senate to look the other way. I was thinking that a subtle intervention by the senate committee on banking will be an appropriate thing to do and bring the parties together and see how it can be amicably resolved for the benefits of those who are benefitting from the foundation that has already been laid by Kanu Nwankwo.”
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, mandated the chairman senate committee on banking to intervene in the issue.
“You have come out with a topic that touches my heart on many angles because I know the foundation has to do with heart foundation that has done very well. Nwankwo also served this country very well because he was an active footballer and Nwankwo also played for one of the best clubs in the UK premier league. And at the moment, the president of the senate happens to also be associated with it.
“So, there are many reasons why we should be sympathetic to this course note. We must do what we can to ensure that at least there is value for it especially somebody that is doing it for humanitarian purpose. So chairman banking, whatever, your intervention can bring, to try and save the foundation,” he said.