•As IDBSGAN members brainstorm on expanding scope of beneficiaries
By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Director General of Islamic Education Trust, Alhaji Arzika Abubakar Rimau, at the weekend revealed that over nine hundred students who are intelligent but from indigent background, have graduated as medical doctors, engineers, professors, and consultants in various fields of human endeavors, through the assistance of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) scholarship programme.
This is just as members of the Islamic Development Bank Scholarship Graduates Association of Nigeria (IDBSGAN) gathered in Abuja Saturday to review and brainstorm on how to sustain and expand the scope of providing scholarship for poor students among the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.
Alhaji Rimau who disclosed the number of beneficiaries while fielding questions from journàlists during the 2021 Annual General Conference of the Islamic Development Bank Scholarship Graduates Association of Nigeria (IDBSGAN) in Abuja, also said the scholarship programme is designed to assist indigent young persons to become responsible members of the society, who will in turn contribute in building other poor students.
Speaking further, he expressed satisfaction that the programme has succeeded in providing opportunity to poor Muslim to become respected members of the society, adding that the scholarship graduate association is the means through which the beneficiary give back to the society by guiding, training and mentoring other young students.
He said many of them are working in Nigeria, while many are working as professionals in health, engineering, and as consultants in United States of America, united kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, and other countries, from where they provide technical assistance to poor Muslim students across Nigerian universities.
Speaking also, the President of IDBSGAN, Engineer Abdulhameed Nambo, said the IDB scholarship programme has been a success, looking at the number of persons it has made to become responsible members of the society.
Nambo, who is the Head of Department, Civic Engineering, Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, said many of the graduates of the programme have risen to assume leadership positions in various fields.
He said though money coming from IDB for the scholarship has stopped ten years ago, but the scholarship graduates are working to replicate the programme locally, adding that the challenge facing them presently is ability to sustain the number of students who used to benefit when IDB was funding the programme.
Earlier in his keynote presentation on the topic, ‘Security for national development: Role of Muslim Professionals’, Professor Kabir Yusuf, of the Department of Mass Communications, Base University, Abuja, said no nation can develop amidst insecurity, adding that existential threats to security should be addressed by Government at all levels.
He identified such threats as inequality and injustice, particularly in access to social welfare. He explained that what makes poor people to remain in their vicious cycle is due to lack of access to people who can provide them with information to self development.
According to Professor Kabir Yusuf, there are gaps in Nigeria with regards to cultural understanding and social skills, which makes poor people to have access to people who can add value to their lives, hence they become dissidents.
He also said high unemployment rate among the marginalized members of the society, structural threat due to governance deficits, poor policies of Government, different ethnic, religious and Political ideologies, all contribute to insecurity across the African subregion.