The Nigerian Stock Exchange, in its bid to raise funds and create awareness on the fight against cancer, conducted the 6th edition of its annual NSE Corporate Challenge on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at the Muri-Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos. The annual NSE Corporate Challenge which was instituted in 2014, is a one-day competitive and fun-filled 5 kilometers walk, jog and run event for the capital market designed to create awareness on the early detection of cancer and raise funds to support the fight against the dreadful disease in Nigeria.
The race which turned out to be the biggest held by The Exchange yet, brought together over 650 runners from over 60 companies. Apart from the race, the event also featured aerobics dance, games, music, entertainment for attendees. Unlike previous editions, where participants could only register in teams, the race was opened to lone runners as The Exchange introduced the individual participant category to enable persons who were willing to contribute in the fight against cancer join in the race.
In what might have seemed like a steep challenge, NSE set the ambitious goal of raising N35 million Naira in this year’s race, but successfully raised a little over N51 million, surpassing the record of N44.6 million raised in 2017 by over N6 Million. In addition to the sum of money raised, The Exchange committed to a N20 million donation, bringing the total money raised at the this year’s event to N71 million.
In the highly competitive 5km race, Austin Ani of Stanbic IBTC emerged the overall winner with a completion time of 19.05 minutes, the same feat he achieved in the 5th edition. Paul Alabi of Aluko & Oyebode, who was the first runner up in 2018, and Aliyu Lukman of Fidelity Bank Plc were in the second and third positions, finishing the race in 19.27 minutes and 19.50 minutes, respectively.
Adaobi Anikwe of The Exchange, emerged the Fastest Female runner with a completion time of 24.58 minutes, while Rene Gabriel of Nigerian Breweries Plc emerged the winner of the Senior Citizen category for runners aged 50 and above, with a race time of 22.30 minutes, repeating the same result he attained in the 2016 edition.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, noted that, “It is heart-warming to see hundreds of people here today who believe in our journey to a cancer-free society and who do not care about the weather in fighting cancer. A lot of people could have rolled over this morning and gone back to bed with the pouring rain, but we all came out because of our passion to eradicate cancer in Nigeria. Hours in the rain is nothing compared to people going through chemotherapy. We believe that our message about cancer will create a ripple effect that provokes joint actions toward erasing cancer in Nigeria and have a far-reaching positive impact on the populace especially the less privileged”.
Mr. Onyema also lauded the listed companies, non-listed companies, stockbroking community, other corporate organizations, government agencies as well as notable Nigerians and celebrities for their continuous support for the NSE Corporate Challenge since inception.
For the first time, participants at the race were offered free cancer screening at the venue, with 113 of the over 650 participants opting for the screening which was provided in partnership with Sebeccly Cancer Care Center. We intend to continue this initiative throughout the year, providing access to cancer screening in collaboration with our technical implementing partner.
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