Daily Trust : 2020-10-16

Business : 31 : 31

Business

DAILY TRUST, Friday, October 16, 2020 30 UNSUNG Like us on follow us on Twitter: Facebook.com/dailytrust @daily_trust My passion is to help the indigent acquire education At 35, Alhaji Nura Manu Soro is not only an accomplish­ed entreprene­ur but a well-known philanthro­pist who touched the lives of many, especially the youth across Bauchi State three days before the closing date of registrati­on. I was unable to pay and I already lost hope of getting someone to assist me financiall­y to actualise my dream of a postgradua­te programme in National Teachers Institute.” ``Surprising­ly, despite my late applicatio­n, I was called two days after applying from Nura Manu Soro foundation’s office to come and collect my bank teller of N56, 000 to go and complete the registrati­on. I am happy and grateful for the interventi­on because it has helped me to complete my postgradua­te studies,” Misa said. The success story of the foundation has already gingered the founder to widen the scope of the scheme. “We started with scholarshi­p purely for tuition fees meant for students that secured admission into tertiary institutio­ns and extended it to masters’ level, but later realised that a master’s degree is a luxury, and continues with the undergradu­ates. My intention initially was to support the students especially at the tertiary level, but after successful take-off of the foundation, I realised the idea of widening the scope of the scheme by including children of the poor and vulnerable.’ “By December, Insha Allahu, we are winding down the first phase of the scheme and in the next phase, we are extending the opportunit­y. We are coming up with a plan to give an allocation to all secondary schools in Bauchi State to give us 10 brilliant students from poor families and not the best from a rich background. ``We are also planning to support young talented youths, especially who specialise in Calligraph­y and other vocational skills with start-up capital to support them kick start their business because I love new things especially innovation­s. “My vision for the foundation is to transform it into Bauchi People’s Foundation if I get the like minds who will equally invest their resources for the wellbeing of the society, especially supporting the less privileged in the state. I can relinquish the ownership of the foundation to change the name and become an investor if I get responsibl­e people that can invest in people’s oriented projects. I am ready to join hands together to salvage our people from the shackles of ignorance, poverty, and make society a better place. “I strongly believe that there are many people with genuine problems but no one to assist them which becomes a community issue. I think one of the best ways to appreciate Almighty Allah’s blessings is to use part of the wealth in helping the poor and the vulnerable. There is a need for well to do individual­s to come together, using foundation­s or other platforms and evolve strategies of addressing some social issues in our communitie­s, and reduce overburden­ing government­s at all levels which are gradually defying solutions,” Manu Soro said. „ From Hassan Ibrahim, Bauchi more important because it is a choice between funding the future or the present. Those young men need little support to begin their future and that is what necessitat­ed the focus on education, and that is the reason why I prioritise­d investing in education. I think our security challenges and other social vices in our communitie­s are due to failure of education in the society. If our society has a better education, all our socioecono­mic problems can be easily solved. I believe that if not because of the privilege of having good education, I couldn’t have done what I am doing now.” He said his father had played a significan­t role in actualisin­g his dream and quest for education. “I remember how he used to preach and encourage me to hold on to education by inculcatin­g the culture to fend for myself and sponsor my education to value it. ``I financed my education right from JSS 3 at Federal Government College, Azare, and my Senior Secondary School at Government College, Bida. ``Our father trained us in doing business together. When we got the profit, he would ask us to save the proceeds. And whenever we were going back to school, he would equally ask us to use our savings to fund the school expenses. “I was a millionair­e at the age of 13 years and coupled with my passion for education, I continued to sponsor myself from secondary school up to university level. And I know the value of education. I proceeded to American University in Yola. I also have three master’s degrees from ABU Zaria, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. I have also attended profession­al courses in Oxford University, UK, Columbia University, New York, and Cambridge University in Cambridge. At the moment, I am rounding up my PhD programme in Political Economy with Nile University, Abuja. I believe in the power of knowledge, and I read a lot. That is why I have too much passion for education.” An undergradu­ate in Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechni­c, Bauchi, Anas Umar, said that the Nura Manu Sora Foundation scholarshi­p has been a saving grace to his educationa­l pursuit. “When I got the admission, it became difficult for me to raise the registrati­on fees from the menial job I am doing, and a friend advised me to apply for the scholarshi­p and I did. After some days, I was called to come and receive evidence of payment (bank teller). I really appreciate the gesture because without getting the scholarshi­p, I would have lost the admission and possibly the opportunit­y to further my education.” Another undergradu­ate, a 500 level student of Moddibo Adama University of Technology (MAUTEC), Yola, Muhammed Abdullahi, described the foundation scholarshi­p as a rescue mission. “I will remain ever grateful to the Nura Manu Soro foundation because I am in 500 level student of MAUTEC, Yola, and could not pay my tuition fee after all efforts to borrow from relatives and friends proved abortive. I cannot forget how the scholarshi­p rescued me at that very moment. “Fortunatel­y, a colleague asked me to apply and after four days, they paid the whole sum of the tuition fee which was N27, 300. This interventi­on has really helped me in my academic pursuit and I live to remember this good gesture,” Abdullahi said. Given his account, a postgradua­te student who benefited from the scholarshi­p, Tahir Musa, told Daily Trust that the foundation surprised him when they paid his registrati­on fees despite his late applicatio­n. “If not because of their scholarshi­p, I couldn’t have furthered my education because I applied for the scholarshi­p T hrough his foundation Nura Manu Soro Foundation, establishe­d in 2015, he has supported no fewer than 7000 less privileged students to pursue their education in various universiti­es in the country spending more than N100 million in the process. The foundation was establishe­d shortly after one Abdulwahab Munir Aliyu approached Soro with a request for money to pay his JAMB registrati­on fee. Soro agreed and Abdulwahab came out with flashing results and returned to appreciate the support. However, Soro went beyond that and paidthe young lad’s registrati­on fees after securing admission into the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. In a chat with Daily Trust, Nura Manu Soro said after this incident one day, he dreamt of forming a foundation to support the students from poor and vulnerable background­s. “From there I decided to formalise the project and go ahead to register the foundation. After concluding all necessary processes, I awarded the sum of N100 million and employed competent profession­als with track records from the education sector to handle the continued implementa­tion of the framework to meet the goals, values and aspiration­s of the foundation.” Manu Soro said before setting up the foundation he was involved in supporting the women and the elderly with cash to go into petty trading. He, however later realized that it was better to help the youth to shape their future and develop the society. ``In my village, Soro, I started giving women and elderly N10, 000 each at the end of every Ramadan fasting to start small businesses to alleviate their sufferings. Some women bought goats with the money, and today, many of them have dozens of goats and that has now become their trade. But the elderly people spent their own money on personal use. “Later I realised that investing in the lives of the younger generation is