By Phil Okose, Onitsha
No fewer than 10 indigent students from Enugwu Ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, have been placed on University and Federal Polytechnics scholarship by the Eze Ndigbo Lagos Island, Ozomkpu Dr. Onyeka Ifekandu.
The scholarship scheme which according to the benefactor, would run for five consecutive years, is aimed at assisting those who could not afford the school tuition of their children.
The occasion tagged, “Inauguration of Ezendigbo Foundation and disbursement of financial academic support,” to 10 selected students,” also featured disbursement of N.5 million to the students.
Ifekandu, who his admirers fondly call ‘wire, wire,’ said: “I lost my dad at early age and as such didn’t complete my educational career. I single handedly at age 15, financed my secondary and post primary nn education to OND level. I studied at Lagos State Polytechnic.
“In 2021 I founded this foundation at Lagos Island and have been in Lagos over 30 years. I assist my Igbo people and even non Igbo in Lagos Island as the Eze Ndigbo there. I render financial help and give loans to those in financial problem and even provide free legal aids to those who could not finance their cases. I have been rendering this help for over five years now.
“So, having come from a poor family background, I resolved to assist such people. This scholarship scheme is for five years and then another 10 students will come on board. My children are two in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, I want them to be in public University and Polytechnics not the mission one where millions will be paid as tuition fee and they will not feel the pain.
“That is why they are in Federal University, one is in Medical Laboratory Science department and the other is in Mathematics department. Those ten on scholarship are in Federal Government Universities and Polytechnics not private or mission where more money is paid.
“This is the first edition of the inauguration of the foundation and I am also floating a transport scheme for drivers in Enugwu Ukwu. It is a kind of revolving arrangements where what is generated will be put in the service of the scheme.
“N2.5million was shared to the students yearly and it will last for five years. We may increase our money to N10million with time to the benefitting indigent students. I am always a happy man. I procured my estate at Enugwu Ukwu when cost of land was cheap. Then a plot was less than a million naira, but today a plot in my estate where I have over ten plots, stands at N10million now,” he revealed.
The manager of the foundation, Mr. Anthony Icheku, commended his boss for the philanthropic gesture, adding that having been brought up by poor family background, his boss does not want the poor to stop their educational career because of finance.
“He is always out to assist not only in education but in transportation, like he brought out two buses for transportation in Enugwu Ukwu, to assist his driver brothers and at the end of the month what is generated would be put in the foundation to service it for growth and benefit of the drivers’ as means of fending for themselves,” he stated.