By Sam Eyoboka & Province Obuh
SPURRED by the desire to plough back to the Nigerian society the numerous scholastic accomplishments within and outside the country, most of which was sponsored, and the need to create a better future for Nigerian youths and upcoming entrepreneurs, the founder of Hayford Alile Foundation (THAF) on Thursday said that it would assist indigent entrepreneurs and needy students to achieve their boundless dreams.
Apostle Hayford Alile, THAF’s founder and chairman said at an inter-active session in Lagos that the found-ation has perfected plans to assist millions of less privileged entrepren-eurs and intelligent but indigent stud-ents, if enough funds are available.
According to the 70-year old pioneer Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, the foundation was birthed with N30 million netted from the launch of his biography last year, “In the hand of God,” to assist Nigerian and indeed African children to achieve their dreams.
“It is my own way of contributing to the education system as well as the business sector to help those who had big dreams but are constrained by financial limitations both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole to achieve their dreams,’’ the Spiritual Leader of St. Joseph’s Chosen Church of God, SJCCG, said, stressing that the Foundation is therefore poised to assist Niger-ians who are intelligent and are ready to work hard.
Reminiscencing on how he ac-quired educa-tion, Alile said that he would not have beco-me a persona-lity to reckon with today but for the provid-ential inter-vention at sev-eral points in his life by way of scholar-ship and gra-nts to complete his studies at both second-ary and tertia-ry levels.
“When I gained admiss-ion to Loyola College, Ibadan, my father had no money to pay my school fees and he had to sell his piece of land to pay my first school fees and I am sure that he would not have been able to continue to pay my subsequent fees if I did not get a scholarship. As usual with returning students, I had routinely gone to check my pigeon hole when I saw an env-elope labeled Benin Council. Behold there was a letter offering me scho-larship. So I would not be where I am today if not for such divine intervent-ions,’’ he said.
The chairman said that the foundation would also support and identify with potential entrepreneurs by providing bankable busin-ess plans, financiers’ link-ages, management and advisory services to realize their business dreams. THAT would assist them achieve their set object-ives.
“Our mission statement is to support and empower gifted and less privileged students to attain their de-sired dreams and amb-itions through scholarship, grants, training and net-working in areas of educa-tion and entrepreneur-ship,’’ the founder said.
He said that the founda-tion’s goal was to assist and fund education through scholarships, bursaries and adversary services to African students, adding that it would help the talented but financially handicapped and as the case may be the physically disabled, to pursue and realize their aspirations.
Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Chief Joseph Sanu-si, advisory board and gov-erning council member of the Foundation, stressed the need for private part-ners and other public spirited Nigerian stake-holders to fund the found-ation because Nigeria’s education system, which has been so vilified in re-cent times, may well be better than those abroad.
He said that what Nigeria needed at this period, was to improve on its values because its educational standard was not as bad as people tend to portray it, pointing put that evidence abound of Nigerian stud-ents studying abroad find it difficult to adjust when-ever they are confronted with certain local academic challenges.
Sanusi described Apostle Alile as a worthy Nigerian who could have ploughed the money realized from the book launch into his personal estate, saying that the foundation was ready to help entrepreneurs achieve their business plans and objectives so as to develop the Nigerian business society.
Also speaking the chief executive officer of UTC Plc and a member of the Foundation’s advisory board, Dr. Folusho Olani-yan, said the foundation would help to set up entrepreneurs in their business plans for them to rise to the top.
She said that six people comprising of three stud-ents of the University of Benin, Benin City and three potential entrepre-neurs have benefited from the foundation which was set up in 2010 and more would benefit as more funds are available to it towards the cause.