Tayo Olaleye in Abuja
As part of efforts to reduce the number of school dropouts, which Nigeria has been estimated to be a major sufferer in Africa, a lottery envisioned to restore academic hope has been launched as an attempt to alleviate the high cost of education and support the academic need of Nigerians.
Licensed and approved by the National Lottery Commission, Consumer Protection Council and Nigerian Communication Commission, The private sector initiative branded ‘SchoolMe’ offers an instant financial reward SchoolMe Instant Cash (SIC) for different categories of play and a scholarship as the core objective to support the academic pursuit and dreams of Nigerians.
According to the Team Head, SchoolMe Lottery, Mr. Uwemedimo Essien-Owo, the major factor responsible for someone leaving school before completing studies is fund. He said with the passion to finance education, the foundation thought it wise to go about it through lottery to pull resource for the purpose.
“The idea is for Nigerians with our population strength to contribute to education and stand the chance of winning a reward.
“Where the cost of quality education is getting prodigiously high and making it almost impossible for the common citizen to access quality education, SchoolMe Scholarship Lottery is designed to support academic desires, as well as become a viable financial bridge for them to pursue and fulfil their various purposes.
On the challenges faced so far, Essien said the cost of building such brand as SchoolMe to be pan Africa is high but what keeps the company going is the acceptability and seem less nature it enjoys. “Nigerian youths are excited about it. We pay out every day and the testimonials of winners make us want to do more.”
He said one specific objective of the SchoolMe Lottery is school fund initiative. “We envision this to create a pool of enlightened and educated citizens that will form the base of human resources for the development of our country Nigeria and consequently create an avalanche reduction in the number of miscreants and unproductive youths in the society.”
Essien stressed that the initiative is the simplest lottery in Nigeria as it is not betting. “Players choose from the different categories of play. The daily category being N50 to win N5000; N100 for N10,000; N200 to win N15,000 or N300 for N20,000 and a monthly entry of N150, which draws up for N100,000 and N500 for N300,000. Open to anyone aged 18 years and above.”
He emphasised that the funds are expected to be used for academic purposes.