…We charge less fees in our schools—Archbishop Martins
By Sam Eyoboka
CATHOLIC Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos Metropolitan See, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie has emphasized the need for Nigerians to insist on educated and tested politicians in the next dispensation of the nation’s political history.
Speaking In Lagos at the 12th Cardinal Okogie Foundation Annual Lecture, the fiery social critic said “we need a new generation of well-educated political leaders to operate a new constitution. We need leaders who are intelligent, administratively competent, and morally upright to build a new Nigeria, and the formation of such leaders must begin now. It must begin in homes and in our schools, in our different religious and ethnic communities.”
Continuing, the fearless retired archbishop opined that “the future of our country is in education. Let us invest in education instead of hoarding wealth that we cannot take with us when the Righteous Judge calls us to account for our earthly life.”
According to him, the Cardinal Okogie Foundation exists to assist indigent students to receive good education and form future leaders who will midwife a new Nigeria.
“It is the name of our faith that we make this undertaking. It is our our way of testifying that, rather than bring about insecurity, our religious beliefs inspire us to work for a stable environment , a stable nation, a stable Nigeria,” he said, praying God to bless Nigeria with leaders who will direct the nation’s affairs for the glory of God, and for the liberty, prosperity and security of her sons and daughters.
In a similar development, the current archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins challenged anybody criticizing high school fees charged by missions schools to compare what operate in all Catholic schools vis a vis the quality infrastructure in such schools and the service offered there.
“I keep on saying that if anyone can find a school that of the same quality with any of our schools and that charges as less fees as our schools such a person should bring it to our notice. I can say there is no school that is of the same quality as Catholic schools that is charging as little comparatively, as the Catholic Church schools at least within the Lagos Archdiocese.
“The reason why we must charge fees is this: in days past it was said that the reward of teachers is in Heaven, but teachers cannot weight their rewards in Heaven any more. In the second instance when I was going to primary we didn’t pay anything because somebody somewhere was paying the fees.
“The missionaries went home and begged people for money which was used to run our schools for which reason it was not necessary. We do not have them any more and therefore, couple with the fact that we have to pay different levies to government institutions as well as maintain the schools if there’s no equipment that government says should be in schools, our own schools would be the first to be charged.
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“Therefore we need to ensure that all those things are there. At this same time this is not to say that we do not notice that there are Catholics who are not able to pay the fees. That is why we have the Cardinal Okogie Foundation which offers scholarships to these individual schools and scholarships that even parishes give to indigent students in their schools,” he said, stressing that schools fees charged by Catholic schools cannot be compared to other schools.