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Awards scholarship to 30 students
The Company Secretary, NIPCO Plc, Paul Obi, has inaugurated a foundation aimed at supporting the educational pursuit of indigent students.
Sir Paul Obi Foundation which was inaugurated at the famous town of Ogberuru in the Orlu Zone of Imo State recently, has awarded scholarship to about 30 indigent students in the town and neighboring autonomous communities.
Twelve of the beneficiaries have graduated from universities while two are at secondary school level, prior to making secondary school education free in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of the foundation, Obi who chairs the organisation’s Board of Trustees said he started nursing the philanthropic idea in 2001.
According to him, the foundation was floated in memory of his late father, Augustine Okoronkwo Obi who was instrumental to his becoming a lawyer but died before he could graduate from the university.
He said the NGO was initially for indigent students from Ogberuru Autonomous Community but has now being extended to 12 other autonomous communities in the area making up the ochasi clan .
Obi stated that the scheme is primarily aimed at supporting and training of beneficiaries through university education and thereafter make them assist their families and contribute to the development of the area and society at large.
He also pointed out that the foundation is intended to support the handicapped and empower the youths for social regeneration as well as serve as pressure group to draw the attention of government to erosion and gullies ravaging some parts of the clan.
The Sir Paul Obi foundation progenitor said the importance of education cannot be overemphasized as illiteracy is a major factor in breeding and promoting poverty of the mind and spirit.
He said the project which has attracted the support of the traditional rulers in the area and beyond, would be tackling poverty within its available resources through educational support with the ultimate aim of improving quality of life of residents of the communities and the state in general.
Obi noted that it was in recognition of his service to humanity that he was honoured with the chieftaincy title of OCHENDO OGBERURU in 2010, stressing that the support of the traditional rulers have so far been encouraging.
He also lauded the support of some of the blue chip companies he is associated with including; NIPCO, 11PLC, IPSL, and RSL, who have shown interest in partnering with the foundation in relevant areas.
A member of the Board of trustees, Eze Mike Igwenma, Ezi 1 of Ezimba Ogberuru, lauded the resolve of Obi in supporting societal development and progress, adding that the clan was proud of him and would support him at all times.
Also speaking , Eze Damian Obianigwe and Sir Emmanuel Obi lauded the lofty vision that gave birth to the foundation maintaining that such a venture is the first of its kind in the area and should be encouraged by all.