Press Release: NHEF hosts 2015 Awards Gala

The Nigeria Higher Education Foundation Gala honors Tom DiNapoli (54th Comptroller of the State of New York); Professor Attahiru Jega (Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission); Hakeem Belo-Osagie (Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria); and Drs. Sola and Funmi Olopade (Global Health Directors at the University of Chicago)

The recently concluded NHEF Awards Gala, which saw a spectacular turnout of top dignitaries, business tycoons and international delegations took place at the New York City’s iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Wednesday, September 30th 2015. The Gala also marked the official launch of the NHEF Scholars Program, a new program aimed at maximizing opportunities for Nigerians in the corporate sector through management training, internships and employment assistance in partnership with the NHEF’s partner universities.

Hosted by Lola Ogunnaike of Arise Entertainment 360 and former host of American Morning on CNN, the NHEF Awards Gala was a highlight of the United Nations General Assembly week as it celebrated distinguished and influential Nigerians who have contributed to prosperity in Nigeria and beyond. The Gala Theme was “Unlocking Nigeria’s Potential”

The 13 year old Zuriel Oduwole, who is acclaimed as the youngest person to be featured in Forbes magazine, having interviewed 15 Heads of State and Prime Ministers, addressed the Gala audience about the importance of education in Nigeria and how Nigeria is filled with great minds and resources that who can yield maximum output with the joint investment of top businesses, political leaders and dignitaries.

At this year’s Awards Gala, the Nigerian Higher Education Foundation honored:

  • Professor Attahiru Jega (Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission) with the NHEF Integrity Award. “I see a young female president of Nigeria..” added Professor Jega who was impressed with Zuriel Oduwole’s speech beyond words.
  • Hakeem Belo-Osagie (Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria and a major investor in education in Nigeria and globally) with the NHEF Leadership in Business Award. He noted that the education he received from Nigeria is responsible for who he is today. He implored the private sector to continue to support initiatives like the NHEF to improve the education sector in the country.
  • Drs. Sola and Funmi Olopade (Global Health Directors at the University of Chicago and founding board members of the NHEF) with the Jonathan F. Fanton Leadership in Education Award. As Alumni of one of our partner universities, University of Ibadan, the Olopades said “the education we received from our alma mater made us who we are today”. They urged the audience to support what they call STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education which are the pillars of any developed population.
  • “The future of Nigeria is profoundly intertwined with the destiny of Africa, so we jointly recognize the role that higher education can play in realizing the full potential of this country, Nigeria.." said Tom DiNapoli (54th Comptroller of the State of New York) as he received the U.S. Leadership in Africa Award.

Mr. Walé Adeosun, current President of the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) shared his vision on advancing higher education and making Nigerian universities self-sustaining. He shared insights with the audience on the tremendous entrepreneurial talent hidden in Nigeria.

Honorary Co-Chairs were Jide J. Zeitlin (Chairman of Coach Inc. and Keffi Group); Teresa Clarke (Chairman and CEO of Africa.com); Sola Adeeyo (Director of Mansard Insurance Plc) and Okey Enemalah (Founder and CEO of African Capital Alliance).

 

Contact:  Yemisi Fadiya   646 205 2254     yfadiya@thenhef.org

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