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09/08/19

Changes in The Nigerian Foundation since 2015 by Prof. Bedford N. Umez, President, The Nigerian Foundation



Changes in The Nigerian Foundation since 2015

AND

A Special Invitation to Nigerian Day, Oct. 4, 2019


____________The Nigerian Foundation (henceforth, the Foundation) was formed in 1982 by patriotic Nigerians as a nonprofit advocacy group with the mission to represent, defend, and protect the broad interests of all Nigerians in the greater Houston area – varying tribes or tongues, notwithstanding. The noble mission was rooted in the refined idea that all men are created equal and should be treated equally. Unfortunately, with time, that mission suffered serious setbacks as the interests of some functionaries went parochial and self-serving. Consequently, the Foundation lost its reputation and active membership rapidly dwindled. By 2014, the Foundation was at the brink of total collapse, prompting a two-person delegation on behalf of the Foundation to ask for my Presidency – citing my continuous works on transparent government and effective leadership.

On April 11, 2015, I was elected unopposed. At the first monthly meeting I presided in May 2015, I presented a blueprint for the Foundation. The blueprint has its root in the logic of collective action - expanding the original advocacy mission of the Foundation to include, among others, Humanitarian Services, Economic, Social and Political empowerments of all Nigerians in the greater Houston. The rationale for expanding the mission was (and still is) to empower all Nigerians as other immigrants in the United States, e.g., the Latinos, Chinese, Japanese, Jews, Philippines, among others (details at the Nigerian Day event, October 4, 2019).

Convinced that leadership is action, not a position, we embarked on the new blueprint immediately. Kindly exercise some patience and consider the following projects – bearing in mind that more are in the pipeline:

1. Dynamic Website Built: Within four days of my Presidency, April 15, 2015, I built and continue to maintain, at no cost, a functional, resourceful website for the Foundation, TheNigerian.Foundation, for the sole benefits of Nigerians within the greater Houston. The Foundation’s website provides vital News for Nigerians. It provides Nigerian Business Directory - projecting the economic power of Nigerians in Houston. The Business Directory is open to all Nigerian professionals, businessmen, and women to advertise their services/businesses on the Foundation’s website - free of charge.

2. Listing of Job Openings in Houston on the Foundation’s Website: The Foundation’s website provides an up-to-date list of jobs in Houston. As such, Nigerians in Houston can now Search for all kinds of jobs within the city without stepping out of their comfortable homes.

3. Increase in Membership: Within a couple of months of my Presidency, active membership greatly increased. Consequently, the annual Nigerian Day event abandoned for some time resumed in October 2015 – all because of the selfless dedication, commitment, and hard work of the members as shown on the Foundation’s website, TheNigerian.Foundation.

4. Effective, Transparent Board & Executive: The Foundation elected new Executive Officers and Board of Directors with a wealth of experience and integrity. To this day, the Board and the Executive continue to work selflessly for the greater good of all Nigerians in Houston.

5. Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund (2017): The Foundation established Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund in 2017 on the Foundation’s website to assist the victims of the Hurricane Harvey.

6. Donation of $1,000.00 to the Houston Food Bank (2018): As a part of its community and humanitarian services in Houston, the Foundation donated, on July 26, 2018, a sum of $1,000.00 to the Houston Food Bank in support of its effort to end hunger in the greater Houston area. The donation, according to the Food Bank, “fed 3,000 people.” The Foundation appreciates the effort of the Food Bank that "distributes 122 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in Southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals each year."

7. Petition to Establish Nigerian Consulate Office in Houston (2018): A petition (signed by over one thousand Nigerians) was mailed to the Nigerian Government on June 8, 2018, to establish Nigerian Consulate in Houston - the energy capital of the world and the host of the annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) with the highest population of Nigerians in the United States. A copy of the Petition is available on the Foundation’s website, TheNigerian.Foundation. To this day, the Foundation continues to work toward the success of the Petition – a Nigerian Consulate in Houston.

8. Excellence in Education Cash Award for the Six Geopolitical Zones of Nigeria (2018): The Foundation launched at the Nigerian Day event, 2018, Excellence in Education Cash Award (EECA) for the first-year freshmen in Universities. The broad MISSION of this award is to promote and reward excellence and hard work in EDUCATION and RESEARCH within the Nigerian community. At the Nigerian Day event this year (October 4, 2019), qualified Nigerian students will receive the Award.

9. Volunteer Service to the Houston Food Bank (2019): This year, May 25, 2019, the membership of the Foundation volunteered and participated in the daily activities of the Houston Food Bank.

10. US 2020 Census Jobs (2019): The US Department of Commerce/United States Census Bureau has reached out to the Nigerian Foundation to assist in counting the Nigerian African Community in the greater Houston area. Knowing the importance of Census, we accepted that responsibility for accurate and complete counting of Nigerians in Houston. At this moment, the U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people for the 2020 Census. Some of the jobs have flexible hours including, evenings and weekends. Interested Nigerians are encouraged to apply for those jobs through the website of the Nigerian Foundation, TheNigerian.Foundation or the US government, 2020census.gov/jobs.

In summation, the present Nigerian Foundation understands that RELENTLESS pursuit of the logic of collective action is a necessary condition for societal growth, and therefore urges all Nigerians to come together for collective understanding, growth, and empowerment of all of us, like other immigrants in the United States, e.g., the Latinos, Chinese, Japanese, Jews, Philippines, among others.

We must work together as Africans. By working together, we discover within ourselves capable, hardworking, and honest Nigerians who are stretching and searching for better solutions that will guarantee us a great success.

You are Cordially Invited to the Nigerian Day event, 2019

Please join us on October 4, 2019, and become a part of our empowerment effort.

May God bless you.

Changes in The Nigerian Foundation since 2015 by  Prof. Bedford N. Umez,  President, The Nigerian Foundation


Written by: Bedford Umez/The Nigerian Foundation
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