How the Abioduns bolster future of 550 indigent students with scholarships - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Thursday, October 12, 2023

How the Abioduns bolster future of 550 indigent students with scholarships

Gov Abiodun and wife, Bamidele presenting scholarship to one of the beneficiaries 

By: Elijah Udofia 

The whole essence of human existence is to be of help to one another. Even the Almighty enjoins us to extend a helping hand to those who are weak and vulnerable.

The current economic downturn, which of course is not limited to Nigeria, has caused a lot of dislocation and made it difficult for families to discharge their responsibilities to their loved ones.

Poverty, the seven-letter word is one phenomenon that has prevented a lot of people from achieving their full potential. It denies many people access to good health, good education and generally reduces many to nothing in society.

A critical look at various reports from the World Bank shows that Nigeria is not looking good in terms of ranking in the poverty index when compared with other nations. The country was once described as the poverty capital of the world. Even the National Bureau of Statistics has variously reported that a large number of Nigerians live below the poverty level.

The Statistics body in 2022, reported that an estimated population of 88.4 million people in Nigeria lived in extreme poverty. It stated that the situation has made households to adopt dangerous coping strategies, including reducing education for children and scaling back food consumption, and this could in turn have negative long-run consequences for human capital development 

Prince Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun State, who has tested the benevolence of the Almighty in all ramifications, must have spared a thought for families who are going through a lot and wondered how they are coping with the current economic realities which is not friendly in any way.

Abiodun must have also wondered how children who are brilliant academically and those who have the zeal to study, but whose parents are not financially buoyant enough to sponsor them due to the economic hardship, are feeling.

For a man whose parents were teachers and knowing the impact education can have in the life of an individual, he and members of his family decided to step in and do the best they could to ensure that at least some of these children are given a lifeline to face the future.

And so on Saturday, the seventh day of October 2023, the 1,500 capacity Hall at the Christ Apostolic Grammar School, Iperu Ikenne Local Government Area, was filled to the brim when Abiodun launched the Gbemiga Abiodun Education Scholarship Award with 550 indigent students in Remo Federal Constituency being the first beneficiaries. 

In coming up with the idea of scholarship for those who find it difficult to support their educational pursuit, the Abiodun family must have aligned with the American Human Rights Activist and screenplay writer, Timothy Pina, Who said: "Philanthropy is not about money, it's about feeling the pain of others and caring enough about their needs to help."

He told the people that the scholarship scheme was his family's way of assisting the poor in honour of his late son, Gbemiga Abiodun, who died in 2017.

The governor informed the people that the scholarships cover pupils in primary and secondary schools, vocational and tertiary institutions. He emphasized that it is meant to ensure that brilliant students and those whose parents could not afford to educate them, have access to quality education.

In a country where individuals, corporate organisations and even communities spend money on frivolities, the Abiodun family decided to channel theirs into a venture that would have a direct impact on the lives of individuals and in the long run, the society.

He said: "It is against this backdrop that my family came up with a scholarship scheme called GBEMIGA ABIODUN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD, in memory of our son, Gbemiga Abiodun, which is strictly for indigent learners of Public Primary, Secondary Schools, Technical College, and Tertiary Institutions, as well as Special Needs Learners within Ikenne, Remo North, and Sagamu Local Government Areas, to provide support to selected learners who are from the aforementioned local government areas of Ogun State."

According to the governor,  "The Award is in two phases. The first phase is a Scholarship Award, designed for indigent and brilliant students while its alternative form; the second phase will be a Bursary Award for in-need but not necessarily brilliant indigent students whose chances of upward socio-economic mobility are probable with bursary support."

Governor Abiodun informed that 200 learners from public primary schools would receive the sum of N50,000 each, to take care of their educational materials, 200 students from public secondary schools would get N100,000 for their educational materials, while 100 students in tertiary institutions would be paid N250,000 each to take care of their educational needs.

He pointed out that the Scholarship award is designed for a period of three years and within the age bracket of 6-25, and selection will be determined by the State Ministry of Education Science and Technology, using the Cumulative Promotion Examination Result obtainable from the OGSERA platform while the beneficiaries for tertiary institutions were recommended by their respective institutions.

Education, Abiodun noted is the only light to the future of prosperity, development, and peaceful co-existence. He again reiterated that the programme was conceived to celebrate the impactful and eventful life of his son and all that the young man stood for while alive, as he lived a life of selflessness, consistency, and scholarship.

One thing the governor observed and which he wanted those who came to witness the event to take home was that the late Gbemiga was a lover of education even though he had a flair for Disc Jockey. According to him, the deceased was a graduate and was preparing to commence his master's degree programme abroad when death came calling.

For Prince Abiodun, the occasion provided him the opportunity to challenge female students to pick up the gauntlets and make inroads into the male-dominated trades in Technical Colleges and Vocational Centres.

He also showed his displeasure in the fact that despite the free education policy of his administration and the fact that students in higher institutions pay less in terms of fees, many basic school completers are hindered from proceeding beyond junior or secondary schools and acquiring tertiary education.

He advised those who benefited to make the best of the scheme to better their lots, as it is the best way his family would keep the memory of the deceased alive. He promised that the number of beneficiaries would increase to 1000 in the next 12 months, while the scheme would be extended to the other federal constituencies in the state to achieve its objectives.

The governor's spouse, Bamidele Abiodun, said the scheme is to impart on the lives of the beneficiaries and their parents, especially at these trying times, expressing the hope that the scheme would achieve its purpose of bringing succour to the benefiting families.

Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, the Special Adviser in charge of Education, Science, and Technology, let it be known that the scholarship is sponsored entirely by the Dapo Abiodun family.

While the Abiodun family is given a thumbs up for adopting a unique style in honouring their departed loved one, it is imperative at this point to urge the scholarship Awardees to adhere to the advice of Timothy Pina, who says; "to begin to visualize your bright future ahead of you and then start walking the roads towards it.”

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