A Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali has called on government at all levels to go beyond proclaiming free education policy, but rather take bold steps to enforce its proper proclamation so as to add values to the educational advancement of the society.
Ali who is also the founder of Yusuf Olaolu Ali Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, made the call in Ilorin, weekend, during the formal presentation of scholarship award of N100,000.00 each to five brilliants students of Ilorin Emirate.
The beneficiaries including; Mr. Dasuki Ahmad Olorunisola (Ilorin South LG),Abdulateef Saheed(Ilorin West LG) and Mahmud Muktar Opeyemi (Asa LG).Others are Abdulraheem Kolawole (ilorin South LG) and Bello Rofiat (Ilorin West LG) are to receive the scholarship annually throughout their academic programme in their various universities.
Ali said spending of more money on education is an area where government expenditure yields highest rate of returns from the point of view of development, adding helping the individual to achieve their goal to seek knowledge, should be a personal responsibility.
While government has the larger responsibility to make individuals reach the peak in their educational pursuit, it is apparent that government alone cannot do this, it then behooves individuals whom Allah has blessed to lend a helping hand to assist others to acquire education “Those who have the benefit of education must not see it as mere acquisition of certificate, but rather must come truly educated because the ultimate goal should not be to pursue enrichment after schooling, but to seek innovative ways of moving the society forward."
The legal luminary said the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries included being an indigene of the selected places, undergraduate in a Nigerian university, must be in 200-level, a cumulative of not less than 4.0 or a scale of 5.0 and a CGPA of 5.5 on a sale of 7.0 and must be in the faculties of Science or Medicine or Law.
According to him, "after a painstaking process, the board of trustees in collaboration with the Ilorin Emirate Development Progressive Union(IEDPU) came out with the names of the beneficiaries for Ilorin. The worth of each award is N100,000 per annum and the beneficiary would be entitled to enjoy the award till graduation subject to the CGPA not going below 3.6, on a scale of 5.0 or 4.5 on a scale of 7.0."
Ali said any awardees that is expelled or suspended for misconduct will automatically forfeit the award". The Senior Advocate said the foundation was designed to promote education and health development adding, "the foundation consulted the United Capital Trustees (UCT) and based on advice, we set up a trust and gave a little seed money with the directive that the fruits be invested in ethical business and in conformity with the tenets of Islam.
We further decided that the profit /income from the investments be used to pursue the objectives of the foundation and for starters, we are focusing on education and health subject to availability of funds.
"What we are doing today is to unveil the educational aspect of the intervention. We choose to begin with the three places I have historical connections with viz, my home town, Ifetedo in Osun state, Ilorin in Kwara state and Ibadan in Oyo state."
He assured that he would continue to use his little resources towards the development of the society so that such beneficiaries would also give back to the society in the future.
The National President, Ilorin Emirate Development Progressive Union(IEDOU), Alhaji Hamid Adi lauded the gesture of the foundation and advised the beneficiaries to guard the scholarship by being and up and doing in their academic pursuits.