Business mogul and Founder of Pro-Value Humanity Foundation, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, has explained that his love for youths and concern over their future, more than anything else, fuels his decision to empower them through scholarship awards.
According to him, every effort must be made by privileged Nigerians to ensure that youths, especially the indigent ones, have opportunities to improve themselves with the right skill set for the labour market so as to also contribute to nation-building.
Speaking in a statement issued by the Dikeora Media Office in Abuja Sunday, Dr. Okonkwo dismissed insinuations that his philanthropy was fuelled by his ambition to serve Anambra state in the future.
Dismissing such insinuation as “infantile”, Dr. Okonkwo said he had made a promise to God to impact on the life of Nigerian youths irrespective of their state of origin, political party affiliation or religious inclination adding that nothing will stop him from fulfilling the promise.
Okonkwo, who recently delivered a lecture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, titled ‘Giving Back To Society’, to mark the International Day of Charity, said that his journey into scholarship awards did not begin today adding that the joy of giving lies in not expecting anything in return.
He stated that he was always grateful to God when he sees beneficiaries of his scholarships turn out to become better persons and ready to contribute to societal development.
“I am not one to offer scholarships to people and expect anything in return. I made that position clear at the lecture I delivered recently at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka titled ‘Giving Back To Society”.
“It makes no sense to expect anything in return from indigent people whom God has used you to uplift. Many of those who benefit from those scholarships probably have no means of furthering their educations or improving themselves through skills acquisition.
“I have stated it severally that I do not believe in handouts like giving people Keke and Okada for commercial purposes. If you think beyond the facade, you will realize that it is better to further one’s education than to become a commercial motorcycle operator.
“So, it is infantile to think that I awarded those scholarships for pecuniary reasons. Whoever thinks that of me, obviously has not been following me. I did not start awarding scholarships yesterday. No, I do so because it is about our common humanity and love of God. We must impact the lives of our youths and lift our people out of poverty using such scholarships as a tool.
“God that blessed me with what I give. I have not held any political office as to suggest that I cornered what ought to come to the people and used it to seek self-glorification. No, whatever I give back to the people either through scholarships for university education or skills acquisition, or even assisting in business start-ups for people, many of who I do not even know, I do so for love of God and love of mankind”, the statement read in part.