A group, Omenife N’ Oduma Charity Foundation has donated N3.6million to Senior Secondary School (SS3) students in support of their West African Examination Council (WAEC and National Examination Council (NECO) registration for 2023/2024 academic session from different schools in Oduma community in Aninri local government area of Enugu state.
The beneficiaries of the maiden edition of the scholarship were 60 students from 8 secondary schools in the area who were given the sum of N60,000 each totaling N3.6m for their WAEC and NECO registration.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Chief Lawrence Ikechukwu Ani (Omenife N’ Oduma) during the presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries at the Community Primary School, Oduma Achara disclosed that the scholarship which would be annual was informed by his passion to assist the vulnerable in the society and to give back to the community that defined and gave him his identity.
He said, “The foundation is born out of my passion to help the poor and less privileged ones in the society. It is not that I have much to give but, because I appreciate God’s continuous grace upon my life. Helping the needy has been my earnest prayer to God Almighty to provide me with the resources that i will use to actualize my dreams for the society.
“Omenife N’ Oduma Charity Foundation is poised to altruistically embark on human resource development, and youth educational empowerment by providing financial assistance to the less privileged, creating platforms that will make the youths great entrepreneurs and provision of scholarships to the hardworking and indigent indigenes of Oduma with a view to helping the youth become useful to themselves and the society at large.
“It is my wish that our yearly scholarship and empowerment will increase steadily by God’s grace. We will extent it to other villages and communities around this area but you know that charity begins at home. They were selected from the 19 villages that made up of Oduma, the indigent students who don’t have money to further their education.
“What motivated me to embark on this scholarship was that my late father was a teacher and a counselor but hadn’t enough money to train the children to higher education. So, I could not go further because of money and I see it as opportunity to help those children who want to further their education but have no money.”
Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uchenna Eze who presented the symbolic cheque to the students, urged them to shun examination malpractice, but be focused as they read their books in order to come out with flying colours.
He praised benefactor for the gesture, stressing that no investment and legacy would surpasses that of human capital development, adding that generations to come would remember the indelible mark Chief Ani has brought to his community.
“Education is something that can lift somebody from nothing to something big in the society. You can build castles and mansions but nobody remembers you when you die, but it’s your legacies and those you touched their lives that will remember you tomorrow when you die.
“Enugu state government values eduction that’s why we support every activity and policy that encourages eduction in the state. As the commissioner I will make sure that the N60,000 for the scholarship will be used to pay for both WAEC and NECO exams and still remains. It is challenge for students to prepare for the task ahead to come out with good grades without indulging in exam malpractice,” Eze stated.
In their separate remarks, Commissioner for Rural Development, Dr. Kingsley Udeh and his Labour and Productivity counterpart, Hon. Uche Ogbonna thanked Chief Ani for lifting the less privileged students in his community who could be the president, governors, legislators, commissioners, lawyers, engineers etc.
Also speaking, Chairman of Aninri local government area, Chief Benneth Aja and President General of Oduma Achara Community Mr. Pius Ani commended Chief Ani for his gesture, saying the community has been backward over the years but God has raised men like Chief Ani to redeem the area in various ways.
Aja said plans were underway to send students from the area to overseas scholarship in US, UK, Canada, Australia and other countries targeted at human development
Earlier, Chairman of Planning Committee, Comrade Martins Oli said the benefactor has been affecting lives of the citizens in various ways as a philanthropist such as road maintenance in Oduma Achara and financial assistance to the less privileged in the community.
He said the scholarship was one of his philanthropic gestures to give succour to the needy and less privileged students in the community which will be annually.
The event was witnessed by the traditional rulers, community leaders, clergies, youth leaders, women leaders, students/pupils and displays of cultural dances and masquerades.