BY SOLA OGUNDIPE
In a bid to keep a promise long made by The New Era Foundation (NEF), ‘in service to humanity’ and ‘to empower the youth in the cause of their disciplines and academics’, a philanthropist, Chief Razak Okoya recently gave N100, 000 scholarship each to members of the Council of One-Day governors. They were products of one of the numerous NEF activities.
The cash presentation which took place at the New Era Youth Camp (NEYOCA), Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State is aimed at supporting past one-day governors who are still in school and and have no proper means of financing their education.
Mr. Yemi Osilaja, Executive Director, NEF, said the donation is an annual gesture from the donor. “This whole idea is an aftermath of the Spelling Bee Competition usually organised by New Era Foundation for public secondary schools in Lagos State. Winner of this annual competition becomes the one-day governor, second and third runners-up team up with the winner to form what they call the Council of One-day Governors (COGs).
But we know that as products of public secondary schools, for some of them, there will be challenges of furthering their education to the tertiary level and so we came up with this initiative to ensure they don’t lose focus, keep their vibrancy, we also ensure the prowess in them is not subdued by the inability to pay for school fees and also give them that hope they seek as young individuals to succeed.”
He said Okoya promised to give the youths N1million every year to support the scholarship scheme.
Speaking on behalf of her father, Mrs. Okoya-Urey remarked: “Representing my father here today did not only give me joy but makes me feel fulfilled because it is good to impact on the lives of our young ones as they are the future of our nation. This gesture to these young individuals will not cease here. We will ensure continuity so that we can help promising youths who are on the streets seeking the opportunity to realize their dreams,” she said.
In his advice as an education instructor, the principal of Albesta Academy, Lekki, Mr. David Itanola said: “The road to success is indeed narrow but with courage and focus, I believe the potentials in you will grow. As young individuals, you should generate ideas together that will help improve yourselves as a group and as an individual.”
Beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme include Alexander Ezenagu, a first class graduate of University of Ibadan, currently at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. Others are Olalekan Oladipupo of LAUTECH; Timothy Olawale of OAU; Abiodun Rebecca, Daniel Osunbor of UNIBEN; Adeoye Adesoji and Abatulu Ijeoma both of UNILAG.