Mr. Uzochukwu Akunedozi, Managing Director of Blake Resorts, has said that education, he believes, is the only key that can break the gap between students from well-to-do families and those from less privileged backgrounds in the society.
Akunedozi made the statement while motivating and admonishing 100 students of Abuja widows under his scholarship scheme that were drawn from three Junior Secondary Schools in Abuja.
The Blake Resorts owner had invited the students and their schools’ management staff to a lunch and presentation of educational materials for the new term to the beneficiaries on Friday in Abuja.
The event which was held at the Blake Resorts event center had in attendance, the Director, Junior Secondary School, Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), Abuja, Hajiya Ramatu Nusa K; principals, teachers and a chairman of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) from the selected secondary schools.
Recall that the owner of the Blake Resorts, Akunedozi awarded the full scholarship to the less privileged students in the Abuja schools in April 2023 and keeping the promises till date.
Addressing the schools’ management and the students, Akunedozi said, “Sometimes this year I decided to identify with Abuja widows to take some burdens off their heads by giving their children and wards full scholarship at secondary school level.
“The reason for the support is not that I have excess. But I am doing this to break the wall between the children born with silver spoon in their mouths and those from poor background. Education is the only key to break the wall. I wanted the students to be better persons tomorrow.
“I called them out today to make them feel happier as it would serve as a social therapy for them.
“It’s a 100% scholarship subject to upward review from time to time”.
Akunedozi admonished the children to take their study very seriously. He noted that if they don’t utilize the privilege, his effort in them would be in futility. He advised the students to lay a solid foundation by studying hard in their respective schools to break the wall between them and the children of the rich.
Commending the magnificence of Akunedozi for reaching out to the students, the Director, Junior Secondary School, UBEB in Abuja, Hajiya Ramatu Nusa praised the philanthropist for his kind heart towards the poor and admonished the students to live up to the expectation of their benefactor.
She forecasted that she was seeing the faces of all professions – doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, engineers, teachers and so on among the students. She, therefore, urged them to be serious with their studies to make their benefactor proud.
Speaking separately at the event, the Director, Principal of Junior Secondary School (JSS), Mpape, Mrs Onugwu Ngozi; Director, Principal, Government Day Secondary School (GDSS), Karu, Mrs Akinje Esther Omotolani, and Principal of Goverment Secondary School Jikwoyi, Abuja, Ogwo Godwin, overwhelmingly commended the Blake boss and prayed for his success and business growth noting that his kind is very rare to come by in Nigeria.
They both expressed gratitude over the gesture informing Akunedozi that he has announced himself through his philanthropy over the students selected without discrimination and sentiment on tribal, religious and regional lines.
They said the students’ benefactor shocked them further by inviting the students over today to identify, interact and to have lunch with them. They said the students, ordinarily, cannot gain access to his caliber of person in the society, if not for the rare privilege.
The Directors (Principals), of the schools said that Akunedozi may not understand the magnitude of the scholarship offered to the students but they know better as they said, most times they could send they students home more than 10 times in a term over school fees because of their poor backgrounds yet some would not be able to pay.
They commended his humility and prayed for God’s blessings over his life, family and business.
In his reaction, PTA Chairman of GSS, Mpape, Gbatar Teni Joseph said, “In the history of the school, no body has offered a single student scholarship. When I heard about this, I thought it was one of those politicians that usually give fake promises.
“The cry of those students you have wiped away their cry and tears will open ways for you. No politician can do what you have done and still doing.
“The scholarship is for millions of people but not just these 100 students before us here because by the time they become better persons tomorrow, they would also emulate your gesture and extend same to others,” he added.
The highlights of the event were interactions between the students and their benefactor on their academic performances in their various schools, serving of lunch to the students and presentation of school materials by Mr. Akunedozi and supported by the Abuja UBEB Director, Hajiya Nusa.