Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Elias Bogoro, recently bagged awards, courtesy of Hallmarks of Labour Award Night/25th Anniversary.
Sanwo-Olu and Bogoro joined eight others to receive their awards at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.
While Sanwo-Olu received an award in ‘Leadership and transparency in public health management and control of COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria,” Bogoro was garlanded for his ‘Outstanding contributions in the field of education.”
Other awardees were: ophthalmologist, Prof. Adenike Abiosa; historian, Prof. Bolanle Awe; diplomat, Prof. Mohammed Tijani Bande; and legal amazon, Mrs. Hairat Balogun; executive secretary National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed; world acclaimed gynaecologist, Prof. Oladapo Alabi Ladipo; accomplished endocrinologist/entrepreneur, Dr. Sunny Folorunso Kuku; veteran broadcaster and teacher, Stella Marie Awani; as well as pupils who bagged the foundation’s best-performing school in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
Born on June 6, 1958, Bogoro is a professor of Animal Science (Biochemistry and Ruminant Nutrition). He began his teaching career as a graduate assistant at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi State, and rose through the ranks to the pinnacle of his career in 2003. Prof Bogoro, served as the chairman of Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, between 2005 and 2007.
In April 2014, Bogoro was appointed executive secretary of TETFund, in which capacity he has consistently sought the institutionalisation of research and development (R&D) in the nation’s tertiary institutions so as to be more globally competitive. His tenure at TETFund has also witnessed steady improvement in academia-industry collaborations.
According to information on the HLF website, it was conceived in 1996 with the aim to salvage the image of the country against some treasury looters who forcefully place themselves in the mould of role models by flaunting illicit wealth.
“The founders of HLF believed that something had to be done to salvage the image of our country, convinced that our society boasts of exemplary men and women who, against all odds, have embraced hard work and integrity. They are great Nigerians who can match and excel their contemporaries anywhere in the world,” the information stated.
The foundation aims to, among other things, identify Nigerians who have made exemplary achievement via hard work; use such achievements to demonstrate to others that there is dignity in labour; nurture positive attitude among Nigerians; and rebrand Nigerian by making her a pride of place.
Going down memory lane, Executive Secretary of the foundation Mrs. Patricia Otuedon-Arawore recalled how she was inspired by many hardworking and intellectually endowed Nigerians making their modest contributions to the development of the country, particularly education in an environment riddled with individuals of questionable wealth. This, she said, inspired her to set up the foundation.
She said all through the foundation’s 25 years of existence, it neither enjoyed any external fund in either from government, or international agencies, but through individuals as well as the Hallmark of Labour Book Series which the foundation set up three years after its existence and from which it realises funding to execute some of its activities.
Mrs. Otuedon-Arawore recounted that in 2019, the foundation had its annual award and 23rd anniversary. However, she lamented that the COVID-19 which occurred a year after put lots of financial strain on the organisation. Nevertheless, the foundation still tried to wriggle out of the corner.
She said: “In the midst of the challenges, the foundation refurbished and equipped a library for an indigent public school-Community Secondary School, Achina, Aguata Local Government of Anambra State. We are pleased to inform you that the foundation has named the library after one of Nigeria’s finest scientists- Prof Uche Amazigo, who hails from the town of Achina.”
She paid growing tributes to some of the distinguished members of the foundation that have passed on in the course of the pandemic.
Earlier, Governor Sanwo-Olu described the award as a‘challenge’ that would spur the state to better performances, adding “I want to specially thank the organiser and the entire Nigerians for this award.
“Sincerely, I am the least qualified and the youngest (among governors). But more importantly, it (award) shows that we that are coming behind have something to look forward to; something that will challenge us and ensure we do our very best. I am also dazed even by the level of commitment of our fathers,mothers and seniors who have shown to be dedicated to this country.“