From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A total of 164 undergraduates in Delta State at the weekend benefitted from the educational grant scheme of Monday Onyeme Foundation.
The beneficiaries who received cheques rangibg from N100,000 to N200,000, were drawn from Ndokwa area of the state with 61 from Ukwuani, 78 from Ndokwa West and 55 from Ndokwa East council areas.
In his remarks at the presentation ceremony in Kwale, the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, urged well meaning members of the society to emulate the gesture of Onyeme, a philanthropist and current chairman of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DSBIR).
Represented by the state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Patrick Ukah, the governor emphasized that it was important for education to be encouraged by individuals and corporate organisations.
He assured that his administration would not relent in maintaining the tempo already set in the provision of infrastructure in schools.
“It is heartwarming to note that the Foundation has concluded plans to donate 1000 textbooks to 18 schools, that means, 18,000 textbooks; this is very encouraging and if ten persons can donate 1,000 textbooks to schools, it will go a long way to add to what the state government is doing to encourage education,
“The Foundation focuses on infrastructural development of school system in our state too; this will complement what we are doing to making our schools more conducive for learning.
“However, the event of today speaks volumes about the man, Onyeme, presenting cheques ranging from N100,000 to N200,000 to 194 undergraduates will certainly, assist the beneficiaries in meeting with their educational needs,” Okowa said.
Chairman of the occasion, Juan Guvnor, said the programme “has become customary, it has become a festival that we look forward to annually, I congratulate the beneficiaries as this gesture will cushion the burden of education on parents.”
Earlier, Onyeme said the foundation started few years ago with the aim of promoting excellence in education.
“We encourage our children to do well in academics. The foundation also engages in the renovation of schools, provide school desks, chairs and distribute books, and writing materials.
“In the next few weeks, we will provide 1000 textbooks each to 18 schools in Ndokwa nation.
“Few years ago, 60 undergraduates benefitted from the scheme, last year we provided for 160 students and this year, we gave to 164 undergraduates – 61 from Ukwuani, 78 from Ndokwa West and 55 from Ndokwa East Local Government Area,” Onyeme added.
Advising students to work hard, Onyeme said the money was “to pay fees and buy educational materials, it is not for fun, if you can use it to buy one or two textbooks, it will make a lot of difference.”