From Maurice Okafor, Enugu.
The rural dwellers in Akpugoeze, a serene town comprising of five villages in the Oji River local government area of Enugu state, have been provided with an opportunity of becoming computer literate, without paying a dime.
A Non-governmental organization (NGO) known as Ike Okoli Foundation is bearing the cost of helping the rural dwellers, pupils, students and unemployed graduates to become computer compliant in the nearest future by acquiring and installing 21 computer gadgets at community Primary School Akpugoeze.
The Ike Okoli Foundation is also taking the responsibility of paying wage bills of the computer analysts/instructors who will conduct the training, security and other staff of the training centre for two years, in the expectation that the commercial section of the computer laboratory before the next two years be generating enough funds to cater for the staff wages and miscellaneous expenses of running the primary school.
The foundation has also provided a bus that will convey those interested in the training from different designated spots in the villages to the training centre and back to their villages freely.
Speaking to newsmen, the President of the foundation, Mr Ike Okoli who lives in London said he is pained at the level of deterioration, dilapidation and neglect in Akpugoeze community primary school and the secondary school, where he had his educational upbringing, However, want the knowledge to be imparted across border especially among the jobless Youths, as a means of widening their knowledge and job opportunities, and keeping them away from crime related activities.
He stated, “As a strategy of ensuring sustainability and security of the initiative, My foundation is also taking the responsibility of paying the wage bills of the Computer Analyst/Instructors, who will be mentoring the trainees, the security, cleaner and two other workers for the next two years. We are expecting that the Computer laboratory that will serve for commercial purposes, will have started generating enough funds from commercial services to sustain the system and miscellaneous expenses in running the affairs of the primary school”.
Mr Okoli said his foundation as part of his Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), he will extend the largesse to all primary schools in the Oji River local government area of Enugu state shortly.
The training centre was formally opened up for services at the weekend. By Oji River, local government chairman, Barr Frank Udemezue, garnered commendations for Mr Ike Okoli from friends and some stakeholders of Akpugoeze. Hon Obinna Ezechukwu, the supervisory councillor for agriculture in the Oji River local government area, said the initiative will enhance the rural dwellers in Akpugoeze to become computer compliant in no distant time in this era of the computer age.
He described the President of the foundation, Mr Ike Okoli, as a humanitarian, who have since carved a niche in helping humanity back in his days as President of Oji River students association, ESUT chapter.
The President General Ofemiri Akpugoeze, Evangelist Henry Eze expressed gratitude to Mr Okoli for thinking home and called on other illustrious sons of the community to emulate him by embarking on some other self-willed project that will endear empowerment to the rural dwellers and facilitate the development of Akpugoeze. Engr Emenike Anya, another son of the soil, corroborated Evangelist Eze’s commendations for Mr Okoli and hinted that the foundation concluded plans to sponsor a local football league for the cause of promoting peace and unity in Akpugoeze town.
Hon Goddy Anaekwe, a PDP party chairman in Oji River local government while commending Mr Ike Okoli for the gesture, said he has solved the problems of going to other nearby towns for photocopy, lamination and other computer services by rural dwellers, teachers and Nigerians residents in the town.