As education remains a bedrock of human development, the Chairman, Blake Resort Uzochukwu Akunedozi, stressed that it is imperative to bridge the educational gap between rich and poor in Nigeria for equality and positive development.
Akunedozi made the assertion while hosting a lunch party for over 100 indigent students in Abuja on his scholarship scheme, and also had teachers and parents including the Director, Junior Secondary School, Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), Abuja, Hajiya Ramatu Nusa K; principals, teachers and a chairman of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) from the selected secondary schools were in attendance at the Blake Resorts in Abuja.
While speaking he (Akunedozi)said his concern is about the bright future and amazing potential of indigent students who can bring about positive change and impact in national development, family and their lives.
Meanwhile, in his efforts to break the wall between children of the rich and the poor parents, he has 100 students on his scholarship drawn from three different government secondary schools in Abuja.
It will be recalled that the philanthropist and educationalist had awarded full scholarships to the less privileged students of schools in Abuja in April 2023 and had sustained the scholarship scheme with no support from anybody based on his passion for human capacity development.
He said: “Some times this year, I decided to identify with Abuja widows to take some burdens off their heads by giving their children and wards full scholarships at the secondary school level.
“The reason for the support is not that I have excess. But I am doing this to break the wall between the children born with a silver spoon in their mouths and those from poor backgrounds. Education is the only key to breaking the wall. I wanted the students to be better people tomorrow.
“I called them out today to make them feel happier as it would serve as a social therapy for them.
“It’s a 100 per cent scholarship subject to upward review from time to time.”
However, he counselled the students on making good use of the opportunity to establish themselves and attain their dreams and aspirations if not it might be in futility.
He further stated that to lay a solid foundation by studying hard and becoming outstanding in their respective schools to break the wall between them and the children of the rich.
Meanwhile, the Director of junior Secondary School, UBEB in Abuja, Hajiya Ramatu Nusa, commended love and commitment to add value to the lives of the students and to bridging the gap between the poor and rich by doling out scholarships and supporting indigent families.
Therefore, in a remark, Nusa urged the students not to disappoint rather than live up to the expectations of their benefactor.
She also expressed optimism that the students will soon become full-blown professionals as medical doctors, lawyers, architects, pilots, economists, engineers, teachers, professors, pharmacists, and others.
Meanwhile, speaking separately at the event, the Director, Principal of Junior Secondary School (JSS), Mpape, Mrs Onugwu Ngozi; Director, Principal, of Government Day Secondary School (GDSS), Karu, Mrs Akinje Esther Omotolani, and Principal of Government Secondary School Jikwoyi, Abuja, Ogwo Godwin, overwhelmingly commended the Blake boss and prayed for his success and business growth noting that his kind is very rare to come by in Nigeria.
They both expressed gratitude over the gesture informing him (Akunedozi) that he legacy through his philanthropy over the students selected without discrimination and sentiment on tribal, religious and regional lines is highly commendable and exemplary.
They also acknowledged his humility and love to have invited the students to identify, interact and have lunch with them, and described it as overwhelming to give the students such a rare privilege to meet and eat at the same table with them.
Also expressing their feelings, the Directors (Principals), of the schools said that he (Akunedozi) had changed the narrative in the lives of the students with his act of kindness and love, hence most of the students would not be driven home again because they have not paid school fee due to the poor background they are coming from, which they commended his commitment and humility, therefore, prayed for God’s blessings over his life, family and business.
In his reaction, PTA Chairman of GSS, Mpape, Gbatar Teni Joseph said, “In the history of the school, nobody has offered a single student scholarship. When I heard about this, I thought it was one of those politicians who usually give fake promises.
“The cry of those students you have wiped away their cry and tears will open ways for you. No politician can do what you have done and still doing.
“The scholarship is for millions of people but not just these 100 students before us here because by the time they become better persons tomorrow, they would also emulate your gesture and extend same to others,” he added.
The highlights of the event were interactions between the students and their benefactor on their academic performances in their various schools, the serving of lunch to the students and the presentation of school materials by Mr. Akunedozi and supported by the Abuja UBEB Director, Hajiya Nusa.