Home Entertainment EXCLUSIVE | Chief Ogwu Onoja N20M Education Endowment Fund Unveiled At Inauguration...
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:
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.
CHIEF OGWU JAMES ONOJA, SAN.