BY EMEKA EJERE
A leading real estate and investment company, Gafford Property and Homes has announced a scholarship scheme for indigent children from the northern part of Nigeria, with ten of them as pioneer beneficiaries.
The Group Managing Director, Mr. Gbadebo Olamerun, disclosed this at the company’s end-of-the-year party held at the OPIC Event Centre, Ogun State on Thursday.
Olamerun said the gesture, which is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility, is aimed at reducing the soaring number of out-of-school children, which has become a major crisis in the country in general and in the North in particular.
According to data from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), 18.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, a situation analyst see as dangerous to the nation’s quest to end insecurity and frequent social unrest.
“Youths are the owners of the future, and we know there is a future. That’s why we’re investing in these children”, Olamerun said, calling on his friends both at home and in the diaspora to join him in “this laudable initiative.”
He said: “We know it’s a lot of money, but we’re building a legacy; we’re building a future that children yet unborn will see, pray for us and they will run with it.
“If you live in OPIC, you’ll realise that there’s a lot of northern children coming to join us. A lot of my colleagues, a lot of landlords, a lot of people in the neighborhood, they ignore those children. But we as a brand, we constantly follow up on those children.
“My children, your children are in school, but these children are not in school. Do you know what will happen in the future?
“So, we as a brand have decided to go within the nooks and crannies of Ojodu and OPIC. We’ve looked out for children that are from the North that are not in school.
“And I’m glad to tell you that we’ve found a lot of them that are also in school. It gladdens my heart.
“The few of them that are not in school, Gafford Property and Homes has selected ten of them. And tonight, we’re giving them a scholarship”
The beneficiaries as well as their parents, who accompanied them to the venue of the event, were full of joy and gratitude upon receiving the certificate of scholarship.
Different categories of award were presented to members of staff, who distinguished themselves in various areas of the company’s affairs, with Felix, the head of ICT emerging the overall best staff of the year.
Chairman of the occasion, Otunba Femi Karina, who presented the awards congratulated the recipients and urged them to see the feat as a reason to do even better.
The event was attended by people from all walks of life, including real estate and insurance executives.
Gafford Property and Homes is redefining real estate business, with a model that enhances affordability and customer satisfaction in major real estate destinations in Lagos, Ogun State and Asaba, the Delta State capital.