The Deputy Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly and member representing Umuahia East State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Austin Okezie Meregini, has lauded Governor Alex Otti, for allocating 15% of the entire N567.22b 2024 budget to education.

Meregini who spoke on Saturday during the Bursary Award of Ugolee People’s Foundation, held at Ohokobe, Ndume, Umuahia, said the action of Governor Otti shows that he is determined to transform education in line with his promise of a new Abia.

He noted that apart from the role of education in nation building, it provides people with the wherewithal to break even, provide clues for social, economic and political lives just as it secures a brighter future for those who are ready to pass through the waters and shallows of education.

Rt. Hon.Meregini, revealed that because of the special place education occupies in a country like Nigeria, and the commitment of Governor Otti in this regard, The Ugolee People’s Foundation decided to give bursary awards to 200 students drawn from primary, secondary and tertiary levels who are members of his constituency.

He informed that Ugolee People’s Foundation is not a political platform, but poised to support families that cannot solely pay fees of their wards, pointing out that the foundation is giving out bursary to selected youth including: 41 primary school pupils, 39 students of secondary schools and 120 students of tertiary institutions.

Rt. Hon. Meregini , noted that the move is to ensure that people are inspired to acquire good education and be useful members of the society, assuring that the Ugolee People’s Foundation will continue to provide scholarships, bursaries, skills acquisition, vocational training among others to his constituents who deserve dividends of democracy.

He thanked all who have contributed to the success of the Foundation while also commending the Speaker of the 8th Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Emmanuel Emeruwa, his colleagues, the executive arm of government, assuring that the Foundation will continue to grow from strength to strength.

Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Ebere Ugwueje, said education is a process of making people to be responsible, transformed among other benefits it provides.

He appreciated Rt. Hon Meregini for transforming and reshaping his people having realized the crucial role education plays in transforming people, urging the beneficiaries to make good use of the gesture.

Contributing while presenting cheques to beneficiaries of Ugolee People’s Foundation Bursary Award, The Commissioner for Education in Abia State, Prof. Uche Eme Uche, The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Caleb Ajagba, SA to the Governor on Education, Kene Nwosu and the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Dr. Chimezie Ukaegbu, all commended the Deputy Speaker for deeming it necessary to train his people than using the resources to enlarge his coast.

They said his action is a testament that he places huge premium on the education of his constituents, praying God to bless him the more. They advised the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the opportunity, reminding them that bursaries are withdrawn from beneficiaries if they fail to make judicious use of the opportunity.

On their part, members representing Arochukwu State Constituency and Majority leader of the House, Hon. Uchenna Okoro, Umuahia South, Obioma Emeka, Umunneochi, Umeh Mathias, Umuahia Central, Chinaza Abiola, all lauded the gesture by the Deputy Speaker of the House, charging the recipients of the award, to be studious and never abuse the opportunity to be useful to their families.

Interacting with newsmen, some of the beneficiaries, including: Obinna Chigozie and Chukwuemeka Chisom, appreciated The Deputy Speaker, for putting smiles on their faces. They promised to channel the cash award to proper use while also pledging to study hard and be good ambassadors of Ugolee People’s Foundation.