In an unprecedented move, Nigerian billionaire investor and major shareholder and Chairman of Geregu Power, and director of FBN Holdings Plc, Femi Otedola, has extended his philanthropic arm by donating a generous sum of N1 million to each of the 750 students of Augustine University.
The newly inaugurated Chancellor of Augustine University announced the scholarship donation to each student enrolled in the institution for the 2023/2024 academic session, including new and returning students.
The total sum of the scholarship donation amounts to N750 million (Seven Hundred and Fifty Million Naira).
The announcement was made during Otedola’s acceptance speech at the university, where he outlined his vision and commitment to the educational institution and its student body.
Details of the Scholarship & donations
Otedola specified that the scholarship would benefit both returning and new first-year students.
The university has approximately 500 returning students and an estimated 250 new first-year students, making the scholarship donation applicable to around 750 students in total.
“I hereby announce a scholarship donation to Each returning student of the University and Each new first year student of our University the amount of One Million Naira Each towards the 2023 / 2024 session school fees of Each student. I am told that there are 500 returning students and about 250 new first year students making a total Scholarship donation of N 750 Million (Seven Hundred and Fifty Million Naira). I hope this donation assists the plight of the parents of our students in this difficult time.” Otedola
This substantial financial aid aims to alleviate the burden on families affected by Nigeria’s challenging economic climate.
In addition to the student scholarships, Otedola also announced further contributions to Augustine University.
He pledged N140 million for the furnishing of the recently completed Engineering faculty building and another N110 million for the installation of street lights around the campus and a new standby generating set.
This brings his total donation to a staggering N1 billion, aside from his earlier committed N2 billion for the construction of the Faculty of Engineering.
“I also donate N140 million towards the furnishing of the completed Engineering faculty building and a further N110 million towards the installation of Street lights around the campus and a new standby generating set. THIS MAKES A TOTAL DONATION OF ONE BILLION NAIRA TO OUR UNIVERSITY. This is in addition to my earlier pledge of N2 billion for the construction of the Engineering Faculty complex.” Otedola.
While his speech was abundant in philanthropic announcements, Otedola also challenged the student body, particularly the new graduates, to excel in their future endeavors.
He urged them to be “employers of labor,” emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship in a nation that often prioritizes job-seeking over job-creating.
Mr. Otedola expressed confidence in the university’s Governing Council and Management to administer the funds efficiently.
He emphasized that the aim of the donation was not just to provide financial relief but to encourage academic excellence and national development.
Significance and Impact
The donation is considered historic in the context of higher education in Nigeria, setting a precedent for private philanthropy in the academic sector.
Given the economic difficulties many Nigerian families face, especially when it comes to affording quality education, the scholarship is expected to have a broad and positive impact.
In a heartfelt moment, Otedola revealed that his contributions were also emotionally motivated, aligning with the dreams of his late father, who had aspired to see the development of the university.
The announcement is likely to receive widespread attention and acclaim, recognizing Femi Otedola’s philanthropic commitment as a transformative act for Augustine University and Nigerian higher education at large.
It also sets a precedent and challenges other affluent individuals to consider the broad and lasting impact that such philanthropic acts can have on the nation’s future.