Peter Adeniran, an indigent 21-year-old student of the Department of Linguistics, African and Asian Studies, University of Lagos (UNILAG) has promised not to disappoint old students of the department for believing in him.
Adeniran, at a private ceremony organised by the department to hand over a cheque of N150,000 to him to take care of his obligatory fees in the institution for the session, said he was overwhelmed by the gesture, as it came when least expected. The presentation was done by the 2008 set of the department.
An overwhelmed Adeniran, in an interview with journalists, said he could not ballot for bed space, as payment of fees was a requisite for balloting.
“I must say I am overwhelmed and shocked at this turnaround of events in my life. I had already prepared to drop out of school because help was not coming from anywhere, and so, there was no hope of continuing my studies,” he said.
He said what the group had done would be part of the history of his life journey and remain indelible.
“I want to thank and assure them that I will never disappoint them for believing in me. I finished my year one, and suddenly, as we were about to resume this session, the management reviewed the obligatory fees upward and I was not expecting it.
“I was hoping that as a self-sponsored student, I would go out and struggle as usual to be able to pay my fees on time. So, I kept wondering what next to do, to meet up with the payment of my new fees and be able to go ahead and register for my courses and take care of other issues.
“I had even gotten to the extent of discussing with my course adviser my plight, before the close of registration of courses for the semester. While talks were still on, I got a call to come to school and here we are,” he said.
A lecturer in the department, Dr Adedoyin Eleshin, said Adeniran was selected after a screening exercise involving indigent students in the department.
Eleshin said as a 300-level students’ course adviser, she was delegated by the head of department to do the screening and identify the most indigent student, as requested by the group.
“When we carried out the individual screening among the indigent students, we discovered that there was no hope for Adeniran, as he had no one to help out.
“He came to Lagos from Oyo in 2019, to hustle for a better life, with no family member to stay with. He kept doing menial jobs to survive and pay his way through the first year.
“Now he does transcription and translation as well as proof reading, among others. His current Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is 4.50 and that is first class at his level. If he should continue in that manner, he will graduate with a first class,” she said.
Chairman, Reunion Committee of the 2008 set, Tunde Oladipo, said the gesture was their way of giving back.
He said: “What we have done is our own little way of giving back, by identifying and supporting academic excellence. It is also a unique effort to give back to society.
“We have just given a kind of encouragement to Adeniran because as it were, there was no hope for him to pay his fees for the session. With his current CGPA of 4.50, we cannot afford to see such a brilliant mind rot away. All we want is for him to be more committed to his studies, so that it will encourage us as a group to do more.”
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Ilupeju Mudasiru, described the gesture as a welcome development, worthy of emulation, considering the fact that the department is the least in the faculty, in terms of number of students.
According to him, the gesture is also in line with the vice chancellor’s resolve not to allow any student dropout of school as a result of the new fees.