Dr. Gbenga Owolabi, an alumnus of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, has given scholarships to no less than 50 students at the Federal Government-owned institution.
Owolabi, who graduated as one of the best students from the Department of Physics, stated that the scholarships, which were awarded to 27 students with the highest CGPA in the previous academic session and 23 indigent students in the institution’s School of Physical Sciences of FUTA, would alleviate the beneficiaries’ financial burden.
Beneficiaries in the 500-level received N50,000 in the “brilliant students” category, while those in the 200-level to 400-level received N20,000 in the same category, and those in the “indigent students” category received N20,000 each.
According to the alumnus, who is now the Manager, Engineering and Maintenance, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Retail, the gesture was intended to assist in the payment of school fees, as well as to provide a stipend for selected indigent students and to assist with final-year projects.
He also revealed that the first and second editions of the support were only for physics students in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic sessions, with eight and seventeen students benefiting from each.
Owolabi went on to say that the program’s third edition (2020-2021 academic session) had been expanded to include all departments in the School of Physical Sciences, while the fourth edition would go beyond the School of Physical Sciences.
“This will not be the last award; the next one, I promise, we will look at cutting across the entire school,” he said. As a result, we will consider the sciences, engineering, and environmental sciences, which I believe will be encouraging to students. So never, ever limit yourself.”
Professor Adenike Oladiji, Vice Chancellor of FUTA, commended the donor and urged others who graduated from the school to emulate Owolabi’s gesture, emphasizing that such will go a long way in helping indigent students.
“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 looking after just one of these students; he is helping 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, the year before it was eight, and we now 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 to keep working hard in order to obtain the scholarship and good grades, which I believe will take them anywhere.”