The Chief Executive Officer and President of Erisco Foods Limited, Dr Eric Umeofia, has announced a cash gift of N2.5m to the best candidate in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, Kamsiyochukwu Umeh.
Umeh, a student of the Deeper Life High School, Mowe, Ogun State, emerged as the best candidate in the UTME with a score of 360. She scored 99 in Chemistry, 98 in Mathematics, 97 in Physics and 66 in English.
Umeofia, who spoke to our correspondent on Friday, said he was moved by the student’s interview with Saturday PUNCH on July 1, 2023.
The businessman also announced various cash rewards to the administrator of the school, the four subject teachers and two other best students of the school.
While the school administrator, Pastor Eze Emmanuel, would get N200,000, the school’s Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and English teachers would get N100,000 each.
Another student of the school, Andrew Imoukhuede, who scored 355, would get N100,000, while the student that came third place in the school would get N50,000.
On the reason for the gesture, Umeofia said it was to encourage other students to excel in their studies.
He added, “I am also doing this not because I have a lot, but because my father taught me that giving is the answer to long life and happiness. As this young girl has done well, we want other young ladies to do the same and reduce this country’s problem. The youths are our only hope in this country.
“I am happy that out of the 1.6 million students that sat the examination, she came first. My heart is gladdened. I am particularly happy because she came from Amish town, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Amish town was where the civil war ended, where (former president Olusegun) Obasanjo took the surrender of Biafra; that means we are a peace-loving town. People like me and this girl are projecting our village in good light. If we as parents have suffered to send our kids to school, they have to do something to make us happy.”
The businessman, who has a foundation with which he reportedly supports over 100 students on scholarships, said he had spent over N500m in grants to people with business ideas, adding that his action was to support the economy.
Umeofia expressed happiness that Umeh planned to study chemical engineering, as he pledged to support her as long as she maintained her excellent academic standing.
He added, “I want to call on others (philanthropists) to do likewise so we can have her type in different areas. Some students are not doing well because they don’t have facilities. Some have no supporters. Some are hungry. If we encourage them to read, why won’t they excel?”
He also appealed to the Federal Government to make good policies that would encourage brilliant students like Umeh to remain in the country to contribute to the economy after their education.