2019 NHEF 15th Anniversary Benefit Gala

On Wednesday, September 25th, 2019, the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) held its biennial Benefit Gala & Awards Ceremony at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The event honored remarkable individuals who have contributed to Nigeria’s prosperity both at home and abroad and commemorated the Foundation’s 15th Anniversary.

Gala Co-Chairs included His Excellency, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria, Jide Zeitlin, Chairman and CEO of Tapestry, Inc, and Teresa Clarke, Chairman and CEO of Africa.com. Dr. Fayemi highlighted the significance of higher education in Nigeria and how the NHEF is paving the way for Nigerian youth by granting them opportunities to assume positions of leadership at prestigious institutions around the world. As sitting Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum, Fayemi also indicated that the major focus of all stakeholders is to ensure that all Nigerians have access to quality education. He then implored the audience to actively support the Foundation’s programs.

The NHEF also honored three incredible individuals who affirmed the narrative of what it means to be Nigerian through their irrefutable impact on their respective fields.

Oscar N. Onyema, OON, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was granted the Jonathan F. Fanton Leadership in Business Award. In his acceptance speech, he commended the NHEF’s work and encouraged the audience to contribute to its programs because “no country has been lifted out of poverty without education.”

Gbenga Oyebode, MFR, Chairman of Aluko & Oyebode – Barristers & Solicitors, and Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, Founder and CEO of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation, were both honored with the Jonathan F. Fanton Leadership in Education Award. In their acceptance speech, Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode stated that their passion for education reflects the exceptional privilege they had in Nigerian public schools and their vision of seeing every child compete on the world stage while rising above negative economic circumstances. Mrs. Oyebode concluded her speech with, “an educated mind can think hard, resist much, express itself, can imagine, can self-determine; it can cope, seek opportunities and make the best of it all. Nothing can stop an educated mind!”

The Chairman of the NHEF, Mr. Wale Adeosun, and the Executive Director, Faridah Usman, both gave closing remarks where they appreciated all the event sponsors and thanked the attendees for their continuous support of the foundation.

The NHEF continues to make significant contributions to the advancement of higher education in Nigeria since its inception in 2004. The NHEF currently focuses on three distinct program areas (Scholars, Faculty and Administration) at each of its six partner universities, all to ensure a future in which Nigeria’s higher education ranks among the best in the world—one where Nigerian institutions develop global scholars and leaders of the 21st century that can make a lasting impact in Nigeria and throughout Africa.

Click here to view the event pictures.

The Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) is a 501(c)(3) organization. To comply with the IRS requirements regarding charitable donations, we affirm that no goods or services have been provided to you, in whole or in part, in consideration for your contribution. This letter will serve as confirmation of your donation for income tax purposes. Our Tax ID number is 20-1507726.


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