AbdulRazaq, Oloriegbe and The Emergence Of CELF Scholars - 9japarrot


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Wednesday, 28 December 2022

AbdulRazaq, Oloriegbe and The Emergence Of CELF Scholars

By: Abdulrasheed Saadudeen 

One of the fundamental human rights of citizens is the right to quality education. In pursuance of this goal, government, in addition to the funding of education, ensures that every citizen is empowered to become productive member of their communities by giving them opportunity through different educational policies and programmes such as free and compulsory education, payment of bursaries and provision of scholarships. 

Over the years, government, at all levels, have institutionalised payment of bursaries and award of scholarships, using the programmes to promote literacy, increase the number of experts in different fields of human endeavours and support outstanding students who are from low and middle-income families. Hence, the federal and state governments, through the establishment of scholarship boards and other educational trust funds, have been providing opportunities for young Nigerians to achieve their educational dreams. 

Despite these benefits, selection of scholarship beneficiaries have often been marred with challenges, notable among them is the lack of equal opportunities for urban and rural beneficiaries of some of the government -sponsored scholarships. To address this lacuna, a non-governmental organisation, Haashim Initiative for Community Advancement (HICA), through its educational-intervention Countryside Emerging Leaders Fellowship (CELF), has been using its platform to facilitate scholarships for youths who are from rural communities. 

As an intervention designed to bridge the educational opportunity gaps between urban and rural youths, CELF, in addition to the training of fellows in four thematic areas— self-development, community development, entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability— facilitates scholarships through its partners and donors, namely Kwara State Government and Senator (Dr) Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, representing Kwara Central Senatorial District in the 9th National Assembly. 

For the maiden edition in 2020, though the three senators representing the Kwara Central, North and South, expressed their interests to award scholarships to three outstanding fellows from their respective senatorial districts, only Senator Oloriegbe has, so far, given the scholarships to the outstanding fellows from his district. The beneficiaries are Isiaq Fasilat Omowumi from Ilorin South (Banking and Finance; Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin), Abdulwahab Wasiu from Ilorin West (English; Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto) and Odetundun Christiana from Asa (Science and Laboratory Technology, Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin). The senator’s gesture has indeed brought succour to the families of beneficiaries. 

As a strong believer in human capital development, Oloriegbe prioritises empowering his constituents with life-long skills. It is on record that the three beneficiaries have confirmed the receipts of the payment of the first tranche of the scholarship. That said, he went as far as assuring the CELF Team that despite his not returning to the senate, his commitments towards CELF and its fellows still stand. One can only hope for the timely fulfillment of this promise as assured by the senator.

The second edition of the fellowship in 2021 witnessed a boost in the number of scholarships received from a donor as the Kwara State Government, ably led by His Excellency, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who graciously released a sum of Thirty Million Naira for the scholarships of sixteen outstanding fellows with each of the local government areas of the state having a scholar. As at today, more than seven scholars had gained admission to the Kwara State University, Malete. 

The list of the beneficiaries with their local government areas include: Fasikun Grace Oluwabunmi (Ifelodun, Biochemistry); Muhammed-Jamiu Salimat (Ilorin East, Public Health Science); Usman Muhaz Abolaji (Isin, Material Science and Engineering); Sheu Abdulmuheez Olamilekan (Asa, Computer Science); Adesina Bidemi Joy (Oke-Ero, Public Administration); Oladosu Oluwajemilohun Victory (Oyun, Public Health Science); and Abubakar Aishat (Baruten, Biochemistry). 

As a non-state actor, HICA, as the CELF’s promoter, has always been at the vanguard of empowering the youths by facilitating scholarships for students who are from rural communities. The commitment of Governor AbdulRazaq and Senator Oloriegbe in awarding scholarships to the deserving Kwarans is a testament to their resolve towards ensuring that youth education, especially those from humble backgrounds, receive positive attention. And with the emergence of CELF scholars, the development of the grassroots in Kwara State has received the oxygen required to change the face of education and development in the state and Nigeria.

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