Tuesday, September 8, 2015 9:36 pm
Senate President Bukola Saraki fulfills his campaign promise to channel his pension into a scholarship fund
STEPHEN OLUFEMI ONI/ Ilorin.
In fulfillment of his electioneering promise to channel his pension as former governor of Kwara State into a scholarship fund for the benefit of brilliant but indigent students in the state, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Monday, presented scholarship awards to two First class law graduates of the University of Ilorin to enable them pursue their professional training at the Nigeria Law School.
Making the presentation, Saraki, who said the aim was to ensure that the fund was used as a form of social security to support the existing state scholarship scheme, reiterated that the plan was to further reinforce his belief that government alone cannot effectively take care of the needs of the citizenry. And therefore he stressed the need for individuals who are well endowed and blessed to support government efforts.
He said: “That is one of the symbolisms that today’s occasion represents and is also my belief that the best resource Nigeria has to propel her development is her human resource. The best brains in the world are in this country; those who can change the course of Nigeria’s development and make it faster and in compliance with world standard are already here.”
The Senate President, who said that since the commencement of payment of the pension to him, he has not drawn a dime from it as he has been waiting eagerly to decide on what program to channel the fund into until the idea of the scholarship program came up during the last campaign, thanking God that the dream has today become a reality.
He said: “Today, the two people to whom we are presenting the scholarship awards made First Class in Law, particularly in a world rated university like our own University of Ilorin. This is the calibre of people for whom this scholarship scheme is meant and that are why we have deliberately ensured that the selection process is thorough and the standards to be met by the beneficiaries are very high.”
Noting that the gesture symbolizes a call on those who God has blessed with resources to help the less privileged ones in the society, Saraki stressed the need to eliminate the situation where lack of financial capability would kill the dreams of many brilliant, creative and well-focused Nigerians. “Or how do we explain a situation where students struggled to make First Class in Law Faculty of the University and lack of sponsorship will prevent them from becoming professional lawyers because they could not sponsor their training at the Nigeria Law School?” Saraki queried.
The beneficiaries who were presented with a cheque of N500, 000 each from the Abubakar Bukola Saraki Pension Fund are Mohammed Abdullahi Tosin from Irepodun local government area of the state and Adamu Mohammed Ndakuku from Edu local government area of the state.
Saraki, who said the two gentlemen are the first beneficiaries of the scheme, disclosed that the process to select other beneficiaries is ongoing. He therefore enjoined the beneficiaries to work hard at the Nigeria Law School and come out with First Class, adding that they should “make Kwara State in particular and Nigeria in general proud by coming out with excellent results.”