The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu, has paid the tuition costs of over 350 freshly admitted Badagry indigenes in all tertiary institutions in Lagos State.
In addition, the Special Adviser provided special bursary payments to about 25 other students who excelled in other subjects, including five first-class students, as part of the education support grant.
The Special Adviser revealed to the beneficiaries at a recent ceremony titled “Bonu Sanwo Tinubu Education Support Initiative” that the gesture was aimed at establishing a solid educational foundation for Badagry indigenes.
The initiative, according to Bonu, is in recognition of the solid foundation laid by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Party, and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in advancing the education sector in Lagos State, especially the Education and Technology pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
In his words: “I benefited from Kiki Whenu bursary award when he was the Chairman of Badagry Local Government then. I received cash of N5,000 as bursary award during this period, used the money to buy many things for myself and I promised to emulate the gesture if l find myself in public office”.
“Y2020 was the first edition of this gesture where l promised that any student who performed excellently will also be rewarded in the next edition. Today, I am happy to report that, through our strict monitoring exercise, we were able to discover and reward more than 20 students that performed excellently well in their academics”, Bonu stated.
According to the Chairman of the Committee set up for the initiative, Dr Paul Thovoethin, the tuition fee payment by the Special Adviser cut across the three councils in Badagry,
According to him: “When 250 students of Badagry benefitted in 2020, I asked the Special Adviser if the initiative will continue this year, but I’m happy to see that this is happening again today. To God be the glory, we are giving out tuition scholarships to hundreds of students again this year, including those that performed well”.
Dr Henry Hunjo, a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), who spoke at the occasion as a guest speaker, advised students to avoid cultism, drug addiction, and other vices that can impede their academic pursuits.
In his remarks, the Royal Father of the Day, Oba Sulaiman Raji, the Oniba Ekun of Iba, Lagos, expressed his admiration for the initiative, saying it was the first time he had seen a single individual aiding indigent students.
The royal father then pledged a donation of N1 million to further expand the scope of the support for tuition fee payment for Badagry indigenes as a show of his support to the Special Adviser’s initiative.
The Oniba Ekun of Iba, said: “I am using this medium to appeal to well-meaning Badagry people to key into a similar initiative like this aimed at assisting students and their parents”.
One of the recipients, Kehinde Senayan, a LASU 200-level undergraduate who earned 4.48 GP, stated that the project has prevented many students from pulling out of higher education as a result of financial difficulties.