Significance Of Ochei’s FCE (T) Scholarship Awards

BY Sunday Egede
RECENTLY, something significantly positive happened at the 28th matriculation ceremony of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Asaba; at that event at which thousands of young persons took the ceremonial oath admitting them to full studentship of the college, a total of 10 of their predecessors were invited to the proverbial podium to receive official recognition for their outstanding academic performances. The recognition, which capped in the receipt of N250,000 each for all 10 of them, was at the instance of the Rt. Hon. Victor Onyekachi Ochei, the member representing Aniocha North constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly and former Speaker of the House.
By the benevolence of Engr. Ochei, Miss Mgboufa Bekere Gloria of the Department of Secretariat Studies; Miss Lovelina Ibenali of the Adult Education Department; Obioma Eyitayo of the Building Technology Department; Miss Ezeuda Chinelo of the Department of Accounting; Ikezue Adaobi of the Primary Education Department; Mrs Onyekachi Jeremiah of the Department of Computer/Biology; Okonkwo of the Computer/Physics Department; Ejiofor Onyebuchi of Electrical/Electronic Department; Miss Nzerem Mercy of the Agricultural Science Department and Miss Nwachukwu Amara Esther of the Home Economics Department became proud holders of the scholarship award of the Rt. Hon Ochei. All of the beneficiaries were drawn from the 2012/2013 academic year.
At the occasion, Ochei,represented by Ephraim Osunbor, former General Manager, Delta Broadcasting Service, Asaba, outlined the broad goals of the Ochei scholarship award to include promoting academic excellence, and thereby enhancing the pool of the critical quality manpower required for the crucial task of effective nation-building, and to reward diligence of those who, by consistent positive engagement, had stood out among the students’ population.
While commending the Provost, Dr. Nwanze Ignatius Ezoem for his tenacity and doggedness in ensuring academic excellence in the institution, the former Speaker urged the 10 students (beneficiaries of the award) to see the award as something that would spur them to greater height in their academic life, even as he assured management of the college that he would continue to identify with the institution. Speaking during the ceremony, the Provost of the college, Dr. Nwanze Ignatius Ezoem who applauded Ochei for instituting the award for academic excellence in the institution, implored well-meaning Nigerians to emulate his (Ochei’s) philanthropic disposition, just as he enjoined students in the college to strive for academic excellence so that they could, also, be recognized and rewarded.
Outside of the rationale outlined by Ochei’s representative at the event, the awards in themselves have additional elements of significance. Aside of seeking to promote excellence for which the sponsor, Rt. Hon. Engr. Victor Ochei is reputed, the awards testify to his deep personal sense of conviction, coming on the heels of his effective practical participation in the recent senatorial poll in Delta North. The reasoning is that only a man of the deepest, selfless conviction as Ochei would still commit a whopping N2.5m to the pursuit of such a noble public goal shortly after the political contest that, quite understandably, cost much in terms of funds and time.
In fact, Ochei’s commitment to good public cause has a long root in several ways, including his scholarship fund for deserving students of his constituency; his huge effective empowerment of his constituents, including women and youths; the provision of buses and text and note books for pupils and students of schools in his constituency; the plan to build a lecture hall for the Oleh campus of Delta State University (DELSU) and the Spelling Bee competition linked to his wife, Mrs. Hanatu Ochei.
Part of the selfless motivation of Ochei is his personal vision that it is by only effective education can Nigeria, as a society, develop. This vision is the predicate upon which Ochei, long before others saw the importance of self-sufficiency, founded Davnotch, a leading indigenous engineering firm in all of Nigeria. Though he has since divested from Davnotch, the firm, today, remains a stoic testimonial to the vision of Ochei, who, on account of his devotion and innovativeness, was installed the youngest fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, in 2011 at 42 years of age.
As Nigerians continue to work and pray for the accelerated wholesome development of the country, they can do well by emulating the worthy example of Ochei, who, by his scholarship awards, has proved over and over again, that even in the most inclement circumstances, leadership by example, particularly in the crucial field of education, is one sure way to the effective recreation of our society for the good of all. That is the challenge inherent in the Victor Ochei scholarship awards at the FCE (T), Asaba.