By Olanrewaju Adesanya
A Non governmental group,Olawuyi Folarin Alao Beneficient foundation (OFAB) has admonished government and well meaning Nigerians to aid human capital development,saying poverty has no place where potential abounds.
The founder of OFAB, an economist and strategist of repute,Mr. Olawuyi Alao made this assertion, while giving a 10 years buffer of 1.3m naira to indigent students of Olivet Baptist High School,Oyo,who are eligible candidates for the West African Examination Certificate (WAEC)and NECO.
The official presentation of the cheque was made by the OFAB team at the school’s National Old Student’s Association,2019 Annual General Meeting and Reunion,theme:Building a credible future,after which he was adopted as an Olivetian by the President Dr.Lekan Adelakun for the noble gesture.
Alao hinted that the gesture was informed by the need to immortalise his deceased wife,late Mrs. Olubukola Alao(nee Ogunbowale),who was once a student of Olivet.
According to him he is passionate about raising generations of well equipped individuals,especially the indigent ones.
“Don’t use money to measure poverty,that you don’t have money does not mean you are poor,you may have natural intellectual endowments and gifts which worth much more than money,that is wealth.
“We are here to ask the school to help us identify such students who though brilliant need support financially,for the next ten years at the Junior and Senior WAEC, across Arts,Sciences and commercial, we have done the calculation and even added the inflationary probability of the cost and that we have shouldered today.
“This project is my late wife’s passion as well as mine,I have been a product of benevolence of others too.
“Also this will help to connect our two daughters to their native land,as my late wife Olubukola Stella Alao(Nee Ogunbowale) daughter of late Doctor Olaniyi Ogunbowale hails from Oyo Alaafin.
“By the time the ten years lapses our younger child would be 16 and of age same goes for the older one they would then be able to guide me on what to do differently by that time.
“This is to honour her and to appreciate God for how he has blessed me with such a wonderful woman.God used people for me so I would also support future generations.
“I think it is important for us to identify that potential and not allow it to waste away on the altar of financial difficulties,poverty is relative,we must not allow negativity take hold of their thoughts, virtues of good moral standards is key regardless of religious affiliations,God sees this and often connects one with helpers,I am a living testimony”.
He added that he was so elated that the school adopts him as an Olivetian,noting it is an additional call to service to humanity which he is already known for through the OFAB foundation.
“It is to fulfill God’s word and support education,develop community projects beneficial to all and sundry,investing into communities is my passion.” Alao reiterates.
The deceased’s uncle Mr Tunji Ogunbowale in a live chat from America,appreciated the gesture by his in-law Mr Alao for having made the Ogunbowale’s proud.
“That was great, you have written Olubukola’s name on a marble stone for ever, for generations to come. I thank you on behalf of Ogunbowale family.
” We appreciate the honour bestowed on Bukola. God will honor you, The Whole world will honor you. You will reach greater heights OFAB forever. Remain blessed.
A brother of Alao’s late wife,Mr.Oluwadamilare Ogunbowale was quick to describe his late sister as a tender and caring individual,who always thinks about the welfare of others.
“My sister Mrs Olubukola Alao sums up who you can refer to as a selfless lover,I just like to say that nobody rises on his own,she believed so much in OFAB her husband who is giving back to her alma mater today.
“So never look down on anybody,don’t make your choice on what you see now,the development here today started from a love relationship between the duo,you can see the fruit today.
“I also want to emphasize the need for us never to forget our alma mater, by giving back periodically,one thing she does often is that she always get in touch with everyone even when she travelled.”
The President of UI Likeminds Initiative, a University of Ibadan Alumni association, Mr.Dapo Idowu led a sizeable number of their members to solidarize with Mr Alao.
Dapo notes that education of a child does not necessarily need to be the responsibility of the parents alone, but a collective one as this will better the lots of the society at large in future.
“A child’s education should not be left to the parents alone,we should support the less privileged.
Same goes forgovernment,financially,
morally even through timely counsels and motivational talks, tend to bolster the thirst for academics in our young ones.
Mr Farayola Nurudeen OFAB’s Coordinator Ibadan in his own comment,notes that the school should help maintain the target without any deviation.
“The school should ensure the motive of this project come to stay,the target is to assist the education of the less privileged education,the students should also make good use of the opportunity given in the space of 10 years their benefit.
The school’s Principal Mrs Olufunmilayo Awolola, while in a chat with newsmen noted that she was amazed that OFAB choose to invest in human being rather than edifice as done by many others,stressing that though it takes years to yield,it has a far reaching effect.
In her words,”education is the only enduring legacy one can give to ones children,if you invest in education although it may not yield result until next 10 to 15 years yet the educated are easy to govern than the illiterates.
“Check out the Southern and the Northern parts of the country education makes the difference.
“OFAB was here to immortalise Olubukola a student who finish her secondary education here in 1996,giving back to her alma mater.
” He paid for their NECO and WAEC fees for 10 years, we really appreciate this gesture. Those children who benefited as time goes by will also do same to some others and our society will be better for it.
She however, charged government to think about having educational insurance policy to cater for the indigent student even when the unexpected happens.
“If the Federal Government can maintain it for all parents to take educational insurance policy on their children,definitely if there is any premature death in the family,there is somebody who is ready to pay and the child’s education continues and such won’t end up a dropout.” She added.