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Ooni Unveils Education Trust Fund, Targets 5 Million Students Tuition Payment

Five (5) million students particularly in public tertiary institutions across Nigeria are to benefit from the Ooni of lfe Tertiary Tuition Trust Fund, for the next 4 years.

Ooni of lfe, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi disclosed this at a press conference held at his palace in lle-Ife, Osun State.

Oba Ogunwusi said the gesture is in consonance with government’s desire to mitigate economic effects of COVID 19 and the subsequent recession on Nigerian youths.

Even with the current economic recession, the monarch noted that seven million Nigerian youths will require close to 500 billion naira to pay tuition fees by next year, inability of which portends danger for the nation.

He said the Tuition Trust is therefore initiated to provide succour to these young Nigerians in tertiary institutions.

“I am putting together Education Trust Fund to support what the government is doing. “We are not all safe. We have to cut our social activities and focus more on youth empowerment. It is better to stay and fix this country than to be running out of the country.”

“We are seated on a keg of gunpowder if we do not look at how best to assist our youths, I have said it before and I will keep saying it. We all have a feel of their anger during the #EndSARS protests, we must begin to engage them productively.

“The Covid-19 has made many youths and their parents to be jobless, while the current recession in the country’s economy is another blow which has made the youths to be the most vulnerable group in Nigeria.

“We have between seven to ten million of them in Federal Tertiary Institutions and they need to pay close to N500 billion in tuition fees in January, 2021. But how would this demand be met when the bulk of the parents of these students are petty traders, peasant farmers and other average Nigerian parents who might not be able to get the needed fees to return to school. That is the reason behind the project.

“Earlier before now, I have personally assisted many in paying tuition fees, vocational trainings and other empowerment initiatives but I have come up with this to bring more beneficiaries on board.” The Ooni said.

He asserted the youth, most of whom are either unemployed or have lost their jobs due to the pandemic are the most vulnerable group in the nation, hence the need to empower them.

He urged government to redirect its budget to accommodate finances that will emancipate the youth and allow peace and stability to reign in the nation , just as he appealed to the Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU and Federal Government to reconcile their differences.

On how funds would be generated for the project, the Ooni revealed that individuals and organizations home and abroad would be contacted for donations to ensure the success of the initiative.

“I am appealing to all our people to let us come together and achieve this for our youths. I am promising that everything will be counted for to the last kobo while details of beneficiaries would be verifiable for accountability.” Ooni Adeyeye added.

On the prolonged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, the monarch said, Nigerian traditional rulers are fully aware of the talks ongoing between ASUU and the Federal Government to end industrial action.

He expressed confidence that the imbroglio would soon be over and in the best interest of Nigerians.

“You will recall that we traditional rulers from across the 36 states of the recently held a meeting in Abuja on the state of the nation the communique of which I submitted to President Buhari in my capacity as Co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, on behalf of others.

“It is part of it and I wish to assure you that the Federal Government and ASUU are almost done resolving the grey areas.” Ooni Ogunwu.

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