The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu, has paid the tuition fees of more than 350 newly admitted Badagry indigenes in all tertiary institutions in Lagos State.
In addition, about 25 other students who performed well in various disciplines, including five first-class students, also received special bursary payments as part of the education support grant from the Special Adviser.
Addressing the beneficiaries at an event held recently and tagged “Bonu Sanwo Tinubu Education Support Initiative”, the Special Adviser said the gesture was aimed at building a solid education foundation for Badagry indigenes.
Bonu said the initiative was in appreciation of the solid foundation laid by the National Leader of All Progressives Party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu 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.
The Chairman of the Committee set up for the initiative, Dr. Paul Thovoethin said that 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 was the guest speaker at the event, urged students to shun cultism, drug abuse and other vices that can hinder the pursuit of their academics.
In his remarks, Royal Father of the Day, Oba Sulaiman Raji, the Oniba Ekun of Iba, Lagos, said he was impressed with the initiative, adding that this is the first time he would see a single individual supporting indigent students.
As a demonstration of his support for the initiative of the Special Adviser, the royal father pledged the donation of a sum of N1 million to further expand the reach of the support for tuition fee payment for Badagry indigenes.
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 beneficiaries, Kehinde Senayan, a 200-level undergraduate of LASU, who got 4.48 GP, said the initiative had saved many students from dropping out of higher institutions due to financial challenges.