558 students benefit from BBF scholarships in Kwara

Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin

The Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation (BBBF) on Thursday gave scholarships to 558 people in Kwara State during the seventh edition of the scholarship ceremony.


The beneficiaries comprise pupils from Junior Secondary Schools (JS3); Senior Secondary Schools (SS3); students from tertiary institutions and others.


BBBF, a non-governmental organisation, was founded by Pastor Engineer Sunday Adebayo Babalola and his wife, Pastor Bunmi Babalola.


Engineer Sunday Adebayo in his address at the event which took place at Omu Aran High School, Omu Aran, Irepodun Local Government of Kwara State, said the scholarship is one of the human capital development strategies of the NGO so as to advance Nigeria and help humanity.


He decried that Nigeria was rated fourth with $13 billion by International Development Association (IDA) by 30 June 2022.


He called for urgent measures to address the sad development.


Babalola said, “It is with immense joy that I express my gratitude to God, the Almighty, for keeping us alive till today. In this period of insecurity, hardship, and hunger, many people have been sent to their untimely graves. So, for us, who are alive, it is not by our might, power or ability but by the grace of the Almighty God and we remain eternally grateful to Him for preserving our lives.


“About a year ago, a bosom friend, the Eesa of Omu Aran, High Chief Jide Adebayo, was called to glory. He was a great adviser, counsellor, and motivator. We miss him so much. During the 2021/2022 scholarship program, he contributed immensely. We pray that the good Lord continue to keep his family and the things he cared about that he left behind. We came with nothing; we shall go with nothing. We dedicate this 2022/2023 edition of the Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation (BBBF) scholarship program to our late friend, brother and compatriot.


Above all, we dedicate this session’s award to the Almighty Father, the God of all grace and glory, the Father of light, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion of what He gave us.


“May we observe some minutes of silence for the departed.


“We are grateful to all the people who have been organizing the scholarship events from their inception to date. Your contributions have greatly helped in the success achieved by the BBF. We also appreciate those who have recently joined the team because of the expansion. May God continue to bless you all. You are all as important as the founders and financiers of the foundation. Your organizational skills are superlative and commendable. Your contributions have greatly helped in the successes achieved by this foundation.


“The last edition of this scholarship ceremony was held on October 12, 2021.


“558 pupils, students and others, are beneficiaries of this year’s scholarship of our foundation. The beneficiaries comprise pupils from Junior Secondary Schools (JS3); Senior Secondary Schools (SS3); students from tertiary institutions and others.


“In the past, the foundation gave scholarships to a total of 1,362 beneficiaries comprising 681 pupils from primary and secondary schools and 681 students from tertiary institutions.

We are excited with the testimonies we hear from and the progress of the pupils and students who are our beneficiaries. We are also grateful to God for them and urge them to keep the good flag flying. They must continue to be studious, diligent, hardworking and above all God fearing. They must continue to be good ambassadors of their families, schools and communities as well as this foundation.


“We are immensely grateful to God, the Great Provider, who has been providing the resources for the actualisation of this laudable programme.


“We have made this humungous investment, not because we have all the money, but as our willingness to sacrifice and a show of commitment to the educational advancement of the younger generation. We believe in Luke 12:48 that “To whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”


We believe firmly that every child should have good education as education is the bedrock of societal growth and advancement. Education is instrumental to the emergence of outstanding professionals, business tycoons, local government, and state, national and world leaders. Without education, society, alas the world at large, will not only stagnate but retrogress. Crimes, poverty, sickness, insecurity and total darkness will overwhelm the world without education.


He added, “Nigeria rated fourth with $13 billion International Development Association (IDA) by 30 June 2022.


“It is sad that Nigeria which exited the Paris Club during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, having paid a substantial part of its debt and got the remaining forgiven, has now sunk into a debt mess and trap during the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.


“It is lamentable that the World Bank’s latest report states that Nigeria is among the top 10 International Development Association borrowers.


“Currently, Nigeria is rated from fifth to fourth on the list with $13billion loan.


The World Bank Fiscal Year 2021 audited financial statements, known as the IDA financial statement, rated Nigeria fifth on the list with $11.7 billion IDA debt by 30 June 2021.


But the latest IDA rates Nigeria fourth with $13 billion IDA by 30 June 2022.


The report stated that Nigeria amassed $1.3 billion IDA debt year-on-year (YoY) alone, taking the fourth debtor position from Vietnam.


“This debt is different from $486 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRC), another arm of the World Bank.


“Analysis of the report showed that the top five countries on the IDA list reduced their debt YoY, except Nigeria. India reduced its debt from $22 billion to $19.7 billion; Bangladesh – from $18.1 billion to $18 billion; Pakistan – from $16.4 billion to $15.8 billion; Nigeria, increased its loan from $11.7 billion to $13 billion; while Vietnam reduced its debt from $14.1 billion to $12.9 billion


“The analysis also showed that Nigeria in the fourth place is the biggest IDA debtor in Africa, and the top three (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) are from Asia. Is this not mind-boggling and shameful?


“While taking loans for infrastructural development and capital development on projects that can repay the loans is economically and strategically sound, the case with Nigeria defies economic analysis as there is no commensurate infrastructural development to the loans and the propensity to pay back is rather imagined than real.


“How low has the ‘Giant of Africa,’ fallen.”


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