Ex MTN Executive, Adebiyi, Awards Scholarships to Ogun Students
A former senior executive at MTN and current Chief Commercial Officer at Itex Integrated Services Ltd, Adekunle Adebiyi, has awarded scholarships to 30 secondary school students in Ogun State, at the recently held Ilaro-Oronna Festival in the state.
For four years, Adebiyi has been awarding scholarships to Ogun students as a means of empowering young adults for the future. This year, 30 students were selected from six schools in the state: the Anglican Grammar School, Baptist High School, Emmanuel Commercial High School, Egbado College, Itolu Community High School, and Oronna High School in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area.
The scholarship was presented to the beneficiaries at the Ilaro-Oronna Festival grand finale, with dignitaries like Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State; the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele; the Senator representing Ogun West, Tolu Odebiyi, and others in attendance.
Explaining the reason for the initiative while soliciting more individual investment in education, Adebiyi said “children are our future and by supporting them, we are making direct investments into the future. My goal is to support the younger generation of Yewa descent who are academically capable yet have financial difficulties. I understand and appreciate the difficulties that millions of parents across the country face when they have to choose between feeding their families and education, and I am invested in doing what I can to ease that burden.
“It is important for us all to find a way to reach back into our communities to seek avenues to offer assistance where possible. We have a duty both to ourselves and the communities around us,” he said.
According to statistics, Nigeria has the highest percentage of out-of-school children (OOSC) in the world. Matthias Schmale, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, issued a warning in August 2022 that Nigeria was unlikely to meet the global goal of providing universal, inclusive, and equitable basic education for all school-age children by 2030 and pointed to low educational investment as an influencing factor.
Despite the fact that primary education is legally free, according to a UNESCO report, 20 million children in Nigeria were estimated to be out of school as of October 2022.
It is easy to identify the reason for the rise in the number of out-of-school children given the current state of insecurity in the country, the fact that 40 per cent of Nigerians live in poverty, and the recent flooding that displaced over 1.5 million Nigerian children.
A report by Southern Voices, grouped out-of-school children into three subsets; those who have never been in school, those enrolled in Alamajiri schools (estimated to form about 81 per cent of out-of-school children in the country), and the dropouts.
Regretting the situation, Adebiyi said, “that a country with excellent human assets will disregard its younger generation is a major source of worry. Many of our national treasures will never be uncovered because they were forced to drop out of school and pursue a trade in order to support their family.
“Many of these youngsters would prefer to stay in school, but if the government and well-meaning citizens do nothing, learning poverty will only continue to increase among Nigerian children.”