EXCLUSIVE | Chief Ogwu Onoja N20M Education Endowment Fund Unveiled At Inauguration of Deacon Job & Mrs. Omada Onoja Foundation.

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A N20M education endowment fund has opened in Kogi State courtesy of the Deacon Job & Mrs. Omada Onoja Foundation.

 

The unveiling of the endowment which happened during the inauguration of the steering committee and trustees of the foundation in Abuja is coming at a time when education with plenty emphasis on the girl child is receiving less attention from governments at the state level in Northern Nigeria.

 

The foundation which has as its trustees Chief Ogwu James Onoja, SAN, Mrs. Rosemary Onoja, Miss Edebo Omada Titi Onoja and Miss Umolaojo Omonu Onoja disclosed that part of the objectives for setting up the N20M education endowment fund is to provide financial support for students who are indigent and gifted as means of supporting them in their education and professional pursuits. Another core objective of the fund is to encourage and enable children in local communities express and develop their potentials for leadership, artistic, athletic, educational and other fields of endeavour.

Founder of the foundation, Chief Ogwu James Onoja SAN, acknowledged that the foundation was set up in line with the ideals of service to humanity especially in areas which directly affect the development of society.

 

According to Chief Onoja, “the Foundation as a family project is conceptualized devoid of political inspiration. It is established to address some of the needs of our people and communities.  The government and politicians have failed to rise above their limitations. We can no longer completely   entrust  the destinies of  our people in their hands. It is time to rise up and do what we can as a people and community to help ourselves. We cannot continue to wait for government and politicians who by their characterization need redemption.”

 

Below is the full text of the address delivered on the occasion of the flag off:

Protocols,      

It is indeed     a great honour and privilege to welcome you all here today in this city of Abuja FCT on the occasion  of the Inauguration of the Implementation Committee for  the Deacon Job and Mrs. Omada Onoja Foundation (hereinafter      referred to as “The   Foundation”).

WHY THE FOUNDATION     

The Foundation was established by my humble family in  honour and   memory     of my  dear late parents;   Deacon Job    Idoko  Onoja  and Mrs. Omada Mary          Onoja  whose labour of love, prayers and sacrifices          formed the foundation that brought my    very modest  family to this present state.  The foundation    which  was incorporated on the      10th day of July, 2018 has    the following Trustees:  

Chief Ogwu James Onoja, SAN         

Mrs. Rosemary Onoja          

Miss Edebo Omada Titi Onoja; and

Miss Umolaojo Omonu Onoja 

         

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE FOUNDATION  

  

The aims and objectives of the Foundation are:  

To set  up an  endowment    fund to provide financial      support for students who    are indigent   and gifted to support them in their education and      professional pursuits

           

To encourage and   enable children in     the community to      express and   develop   their    potentials for leadership, artistic, athletic, educational and other  fields   of  endeavour.  

         

To help students continue their      studies by providing scholarships, grants and educational materials to them for better success in education.

   

To provide grants,    facilities and material help for education, training and    care to students who are  physically challenged.  

        

To take initiatives      for improving schools within the community.       Holistically,     by improving the physical facilities of   the school.     

 

To establish   libraries and computer lab in different schools, colleges and     public  places.           

To conduct training programs for capacity building, thus           supporting and sustaining other interventions.

 

To encourage the      educational    achievements of students by providing scholarships       and financial assistance   for them at     various levels of study.        

 

To render assistance to young people through advancement of            education and            employment, skills    development with     particular emphasis on children     from deprived backgrounds.

To assist in     the development of gifted children and capable young people by         providing equal opportunities based exclusively on their professional    skills    and      sponsoring     their    education,            professional   training and   creative          development.

To interact and cooperate with       other   similar interested organizations     and the community at large for         mutual benefit, support        and encouragement.

 

To carry out   such other functions as may be      necessary or incidental to the         aims    and            objectives       of this Foundation.   

This Foundation by  the Grace of the Almighty God         shall   be a vehicle    to         bring   succor and development  to our  land    and the nation at large. It     shall    be deployed   to actualize    the ambition of my family to serve God            and humanity vide    a non political platform.       The Foundation as           a family   project is conceptualized     devoid of political     inspiration.     It is established to            address some of the needs of our people and communities.     

 

 

The government and politicians      have    failed   to rise above their    limitations. We           can      no            longer completely     entrust the     destinies of    our      people in        their    hands. It is time to            rise up and do what we can as a people and         community     to         help     ourselves.       We cannot continue         to         wait     for       government   and politicians who by their characterization need    redemption.              

CHARITY, THEY SAY BEGINS AT HOME    

It is therefore the      primary objective      and      focus   of this  Foundation   to within  its limited resources, concentrate in    meeting the    needs  of my  immediate      communities in Igala land starting with Ofante, in         Ogugu, Olamaboro    Local  Government   Area   of Kogi State. As a     man born and bred in the village, I         pride   myself as a village     man.    I am therefore humbled       to admit that I am          a          product of      the many community efforts championed by our hard working          and prayerful parents many of       whom are late and some of whom are       still alive and are members of this committee today.

 

I am     a proud graduate of Ofante Community High School, in my home         town,   Ofante, an institution established by the financial contributions,      labour, goodwill and prayers of      the Ofante people.           

I intend to use the     platform of     this Foundation to    address the    issues confronting    our youth, the problem   of infrastructural development       and the           difficulties associated with education            in our  communities which are        abandoned     by successive governments at         all levels. After addressing the scholarship    issue,   this committee should also meet at appropriate time      and venue  to consider     the possibility of getting       a central borehole    in Ofante.       

I must  admit  that     I cannot fulfil the noble objectives of this Organization   alone. Money and            materials alone cannot bring to      reality the ambition  of the  Founders of   this Organization.            I am therefore glad to assemble     this      great   congregation of men and  women from Ofante to         assist   us in    the       actualization of this dream. In         deference to the sensitivities of our dear community     and      the       need    to have a democratic representation, we have    selected three (3) persons of impeccable integrity from    each    of         the  five      (5)       clans   in            Ofante.            We      also     have    the       representative           of the Church where my      late parents           while   alive    worshipped; where my  father  served as a    Deacon and    where this foundation, by divine            inspiration     was     announced.    We have our revered traditional ruler, the       Kpaleko of Ofante     and the community leader as members.   

WE ARE ALL BROTHERS     

We are a community bound by       love and related by consanguinity. I do     not only know everybody here,   I have  related personally    with more than   90% of the  members of this committee and I can      personally vouch for  their    good   character and integrity.       

 

Your    task     as members   of the  committee     is to     advise the Board on what    project(s)       to embark upon when the money and            goodwill are   made   available by    my family or  well wishers. We have projects in our minds to           execute for the community.

 

I have discussed with my Wife, Rosemary and she has lovingly agreed that apart from         our commitment and obligation to God Almighty, we should prayerfully    dedicate 10% of our earnings to service of mankind and more          than    70%    of         this funds should be channeled      to the  development of our communities.             

THE PRIORITY IN EDUCATION       

An educated  mind  is a liberated mind. I stand in confidence before you         today  because of            education acquired through formal and informal learning.        The     little     we have achieved            as people and community in Ofante is        traceable not only     to our dedication      to hard work and integrity, but         knowledge acquired through education.  

The Foundation has education        of the  youth  as priority.     In this wise,    the       Board of Directors            have    set up a N20,000,000.00      (Twenty Million Naira)         Education Trust Funds for the education and training of the underprivileged     youths in our community. The job of the Implementation Committee is to dispassionately set out the parameters and modalities for the selection and award of this scholarship through the identification      of 25   (twenty-five)  undergraduate students (five    from    each    of   the five  families) who are  truly    indigent in the meaning of the word, not those who  want    to live  above  their  means. Those selected will receive financia assistance through    out their studies to graduation.   

There  is no much time. The Committee is expected to set the agenda  for the take     off of   this project. The over one hundred forms which were   given   out have been returned       to the Board and they are  laid here    before the committee who     has      the       arduous task of sieving through them to  pick those   students who  are truly    deserving of  assistance  intheir academic  pursuits. I implore the committee to act with honour and merit   in the  consideration of all the applications.         

I most  sincerely thank my    brother, Dr.    Daniel Itodo, a seasoned educationist,  who has graciously agreed to chair this Committee and all my fathers,mothers, brothers  and sisters who took the  pain to travel to Abuja FCT at this critical time of the year. This is Christmas. It is a season of giving. As we receive thegift of  the birth of Jesus Christ,       may we have the will, the capacity and  eternal grace to give back to God and our communities  in the  spirit   of true love            and      affection.       

 

God     shall    bless   you all beyond your expectation and wishing you a fruitful           deliberation  and journey   mercies back to your destinations.

Thank you.    

CHIEF  OGWU JAMES ONOJA, SAN.

Founder.        

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