Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Hope of a good education and brighter future returned to the family of Ernest Emmanuel as he was presented with a cheque of N700,000 recently, courtesy of the SchoolMe Lottery he participated in.
He described the gesture as a miraculous intervention that would make his two children return to school two years after they were thrown out due to financial constraints.
The Kaduna-based trader could not hide his joy when the cheque was presented to him at a brief ceremony in Abuja. The event was witnessed by other winners, SchoolMe officials, representatives of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and other stakeholders.
Emmanuel said he did not believe that the lottery was real due to several unpalatable stories of scammers in the name of lottery.
He said: “I thought it was a joke or one of those fraudulent projects when I received a call from someone from SchoolMe lottery that I won the draw that was conducted in Abuja and monitored by NLRC.
“I had even forgotten that I participated in the lottery until that call came. I never thought much of the call until the caller convinced me that it was genuine. I played along with him until I was invited for this event of cheque presentation.
“I am a trader based in Kaduna, but I played the lottery in Abuja, through one of their agents. I have a wife and five children. Unfortunately, two of the children have been out of school for financial reasons. So, this miraculous intervention will definitely go a long way in putting them back in school and boosting the capital base for my business.”
He appreciated the management of SchoolMe for the transparency in the exercise. He assured them that the money would be used to cater to the education needs of his children.
Aside from Emmanuel that won N700,000, Yusuf Sani won N200,000, while Happiness Felix, Emmanuel Mercy and Rosemary Eze, won N100,000 each. They were all presented with cheques at the event in Abuja.
Managing director, the SchoolMe programme, Olusegun Karrim, explained that the project was a social intervention programme to assist Nigerians, especially students and parents with poor financial background, to fund their education or that of their children.
He explained that the project was initiated by the managing director, Jamub Group of Companies, Prince Jacob Momoh, after he observed that many Nigerian children were dropping out of school due to inability to financially cater for themselves.
He said: “In the course of this programme, we have rescued many young people from the streets. Many of them confessed that they left school because they could not meet their financial needs. This project pulled many of them off the streets and returned them to school for a better future.”
Head of operations, SchoolMe Scholarship Lottery, Ekaette Nsikan, expressed happiness that the objective of the lottery was being achieved, adding that it had rekindled the hope of hopeless students.
Nsikan noted that more than 1,000 beneficiaries that participated in different categories of the lottery have been credited with the N2,000 each or more, depending on the category of lottery played.
He explained that the game complied strictly with the rules and regulations that guide lottery business in Nigeria, as recommended by NLRC.
NLRC representative, Peter Asapokhai, who witnessed the draw and presentation of cheques to winners, confirmed that the exercise followed the rules and regulations guiding lottery business in Nigeria.
He said the commission would continue to monitor the project to ensure strict compliance with rules and regulations, and also ensure that winners are given their prizes.