The Ikeoha Foundation, a non-governmental and non-profit organisation established by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has doled out the sum of N38.5 million in scholarships and bursary awards to undergraduates of Enugu State.
The Foundation also graduated 197 adult leaners under the Ikeoha Foundation Adult Education Programme.
Presenting the cheques to the various beneficiaries during the Ikeoha Foundation Adult Literacy Day and 2016/2017 Scholarship and Bursary Award ceremony at the Udi Council headquarters, Enugu State, at the weekend, Senator Ekweremadu said that this year’s Scholarship and Bursary awards were unique as they had been extended to the less privileged, but intelligent undergraduates in the entire Enugu State.
Giving the breakdown, Ekweremadu, who is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, said 18 undergraduates in their first year of study drawn from across the State received full scholarships in the sum of N400,000 each, while 300 undergraduates at different levels of study got N40,000 each in bursary awards.
The Senator said his efforts at human capital development, especially on the auspices of the Foundation, which he founded with his wife in 2007 while serving as the pioneer Chairman of Aninri Local Government Council, was a way of giving back to the society, which made his rise to prominence possible.
He said: “All my modest achievments, rise, and mandate to speak at the National Assembly were made possible by our people. So it’s time to give back.
“I could not have been where I am today without the power of education. It liberated me to speak anywhere and with anybody in any part of the world without feeling intimidated.
“Therefore, it gives my family joy to see that some people, whose parents had to sell lands for them to go to school now have some help. The greatest empowerment you can give to any human being is education because it is the barrier breaker and equaliser between the rich and the poor. I hope that one day some of these beneficiaries will continue with the efforts of the Foundation”.
On the adult education programme, he said: “Our determination to also ensure that those of us who did not have the opportunity to gain formal education earlier in life are not left out is because we want to show that it is never too late to go to school. I pray that these adult learners would take up positions of authority in no distant time”.
Ekweremadu noted that the Adult Education Programme, which started in 2009 had grown from 22 study centres to 36 states in 2017 and had graduated 12,650 students, while 2,415 were still at various levels of study.
The event also witnessed the donation of economic empowerment items.
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