By Gabriel Dike
The Dominican Order in Nigeria has concluded plans to unveil in September 2021 a new secondary school in Abuja, equipped with ultra-modern facilities to provide quality education to Nigerian youths and also reduce the number of out-of-school children in the North.
The director of the Dominican Vocation Support and project coordinator, Rev. Fr. Stephen Ogbe, who dropped the hint in Lagos recently, intimated Nigerians and the media on the readiness of Dominican College, Abuja, to commence academic activities, as they seek financial support.
He said the Order of Preachers (OP), otherwise known, as Dominican Order of the Catholic Church, was known globally for promoting evangelization and noble social causes, particularly in the education sector.
Ogbe said that their footprints were evident all over the world, as they help to build young men and women who are leaders in their various fields of endeavour, stating, “The Dominican University, Ibadan, is the first university established by the order on the continent of Africa, with several others spread all over the world.’’
The Order of Preachers (Dominicans) is actively involved in bridging the educational gap around the world with initiatives such as this. The Dominicans of the Province of St. Joseph the Worker (Nigeria and Ghana), have continued in that tradition of providing quality education at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary, thereby contributing positively to society.
The project is aimed at providing world-class education and bridging the gap in the access to quality education. With more donors and sponsors, more children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds can enjoy the same quality education as children from more stable backgrounds.
The facility, upon completion, will provide succour for a number of out-of-school children, not only in the FCT, Abuja, but also across the length and breadth of the country. The capital-intensive project has progressed steadily with the generosity of kind individuals and corporate bodies. However, the sum of N250 million is still needed to get the school running fully.
The order is, therefore, saddled with the task of raising N250 million for the completion of the unfinished part of the project, one-year running cost and the indigent scholarship fund. The breakdown is as follows: N40 million for the completion of the physical structures; N120 million operational/running cost for one year; and N90 million proposed as seed capital for the indigent scholarship fund for the six-year period of studies.
Consequently, this is an open call for corporate bodies and individuals to sponsor as many indigent students as possible to the college. The management of the college has graciously reserved some slots for that purpose. Parents and guardians are also encouraged to seek admission for their wards.
Fr. Ogbe, said, “Indeed this is a dream come through for us, from the commencement of the project till date, God has been so faithful to us by providing the willing partners who have availed us of the needed funds. It will interest you to know that a lot of work went into this project and more will still go into it.”
He went further to say, though the project was conceived and supervised by the Dominican Order, it is a project for all Nigerians irrespective of their religion, ethnic or social status, and as such he called on both corporate and private sector players to embrace and support financially, the good work the Lord has started.
The project seems to have been completed but the work proper is just beginning and as such, the Order wishes to passionately appeal to well-meaning Nigerians, irrespective of their faith, corporate bodies, NGOs to identify with this noble cause, by supporting it financially through their donations.
Chairman, Dominican College Fund Raising Committee, Mr. Oladele Olagbaju, said the establishment of the school is timely because it would help to tackle the out-of-school kids in the North and provide quality for indigent.
“This project is to regroup the process of training Northern youths using the goodwill of the rich people. We have spent over N500million on the project. The scholarship fund of N100million has to grow. Food, security, books and uniform has to be provided.’’
The inauguration of the college will hold in July 2021, while 2021/2022 academic activities will commence by September. By then, the new intakes would have been admitted and ready for studies.