Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Nigerian community in Greater Cleveland, I am delighted to welcome you to Nigeria’s 48th Independence Day Celebration. I want to thank our special guest, Hon. Frank Jackson, the Mayor of Cleveland, the keynote speakers, Vop Osili, Partner and Principal of A2S04 Architecture LLC, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Mark Santo, President and CEO of Cleveland Council on World Affairs.
I want to use this opportunity to thank those that helped to organize this event. The organizing committee led by chairman Lee Kareem, Elizabeth Okwudi, Richard E. Njoku and others deserve our special thanks. I want to thank the women, led by Ezinne Charity Nnewihe, Mrs. Okocha and others, who prepared and served the food. I also want to thank the executive committee of the NCGC for its service to the community
Cleveland had become home away from our homeland for most of us. We are committed to integrating and adapting to the local community. This explains why we have started a number of programs through our partnership with our sister organization, the National Charitable Fund (NCF) to help the local community. These include scholarship, youth development, job training, cultural exchange and entrepreneurship programs. We appeal to you to volunteers for these programs. NCGC is in partnership with the NCF and other community-based agencies to implement these programs.
We are making giant strides towards building the Nigerian American Cultural Center (NACC). To date, we are in the final stages of acquiring fourteen acres of land in Cleveland for this purpose. When completed, the NACC will serve as a forum for the implementation of the NCGC programs I mentioned earlier. I want to give special thanks to those who helped us with the acquisition of the land. Special thanks to late Council woman Fannie Lewis for giving us the land. Others who deserve our gratitude include Council woman Stephanie Howse for her support; Chuck Okoye of the City of Cleveland; Ron Stevens of community development of ward 7; and Emmanuel Erokwu, the consulting architect. I also want to thank the Building Committee of the NCGC, in particular, the Chairman, Steve Oladeji, Chinonye Onyekwu and others for all their work
Thank you all.
Chuck Ike Nnabuife