Dr. Gbenga Owolabi, an alumnus of the Federal University of Technology in Akure, has awarded scholarships to more than 50 students at the federal government-owned university.
The scholarships, which were awarded to 27 students with the highest CGPAs from the previous academic session and 23 indigent students, all in the institution’s School of Physical Sciences of FUTA, were disclosed by Owolabi, who graduated as one of the best students from the Department of Physics, and she stated that they would lessen the financial burden of the recipients.
Beneficiaries in the 200-level to 400-level received N20,000 each in the same category, while those in the “indigent students” category received N20,000 each. Those in the 500-level received N50,000 each in the “brilliant students” category.
The act was intended to help with the payment of school fees, as well as to provide a stipend for chosen deserving students and aid in their final-year projects, according to the graduate, who is currently Manager, Engineering and Maintenance, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Retail.
He further disclosed that only physics students in the 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 academic sessions were eligible for the first and second iterations of the program, from which eight and 17 students, respectively, benefited.
According to Owolabi, the program’s third edition (2020–2021 academic session) included all of the departments under the School of Physical Sciences, while the program’s fourth edition would include departments outside of the School of Physical Sciences.
He said, “This will not be the last award; the next one, I promise, we will look at cutting across the whole school. So we will consider the sciences, engineering, and environmental sciences, and I believe that will be a kind of encouragement for students. So, don’t ever limit yourself.”
The Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Adenike Oladiji, praised the donor on behalf of the university and invited other graduates to follow in Owolabi’s footsteps, emphasizing that doing so would help impoverished students a great deal.
Professor Adenike Oladiji, who commended the donor, urged others who graduated from the school to emulate the gesture of Owolabi, stressing that such will go a long way in giving succour to indigent students.
“I am happy that he is actually giving back, but as a teacher myself, one of the things that has even given me a different joy is the fact that he graduated as one of the best students in his set. So, we are not only celebrating philanthropy and money; we are also celebrating academic excellence. As a university, that is key to us.
“I believe many of us will be challenged. It is not only about passing through the university but about passing through it well. He (Owolabi) remembered us, and he remembered where he started from. For him to have also provided water, for me, it makes a lot of sense.
“I have tried to look at the FUTA community; in my understanding, we have fewer than indigent students on this campus, and the question is, if we have 2000 of our past students come and take up one of these indigent students each and support the student till graduation, the problem will not be this enormous. Mr. Ayodele is not taking care of just one of these students; he is providing scholarships to 50.”
In his remarks, the dean of the School of Physical Sciences, Professor Ademola Ayesanmi, said, “Many students will definitely perform better with the gesture because they will like to get this award. Last year, it was 17, while the year before it was eight, and now we have 27 on-merit and 23 indigent students making 50.
“There is the possibility of extending the award to the entire university in the next edition. My advice to our students is that they should continue to work harder to get the scholarship and good results, which I believe can take them anywhere.”