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The following post is from my e-book, The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa.
Investment: Education in Jomeka Commercial Academy, AVU, Owerri – Elevating Higher Education
Chief Dan Obiyo was an early investor in Jomeka Commercial Academy. Chief Obiyo is also the CEO of AVSECO NIGERIA LIMITED. AVSECO’s mission is to eliminate all security challenges through an aggressive training development of hands and minds in the aviation workplace. Recent civil aviation experiences pose the rhetorical question of which way forward for emerging economies. Government efforts cry out to be complemented through supportive private expertise… now provided by AVSECO.
Avu town is located about four miles west of Owerri municipality in Imo state, Nigeria. Avu Community Secondary school, the town’s only secondary education facility was not easily affordable to most parents. The subsistence farming community was poor, requiring a more affordable alternative for the teeming applicants in Avu and environs. Professor J.O.C. Obiyo took on this challenge head-on upon his retirement after a successful career in Abuja. Jomeka Commercial Academy was established to provide primary school rejects as well as secondary school dropouts with placements in a vocational school to realize their dreams: Students whose guardians could not cope with the exorbitant fees at the public school, students who do not have the aptitude for formal education, and indigent students became the target demographic for Prof Obiyo’s vision.
For everyone everywhere, literacy is…a basic human right.
– Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General
Away from downtown Avu but within easy reach of the cluster of houses bordering the village to the north, Prof. Obiyo secured an ideal location for the academy. Registration formalities with the Ministry of Education, construction of temporary structures at site of classrooms, and basic facilities to kick start the project were primarily funded by Prof Obiyo’s retirement benefits. Notices were put up in church services to canvass for students and skilled staff. Volunteers and National Youth Service Corps members were requested to beef up the staff strength. Cash Crunch-Provision was made for students with special cases to pay their fees in several installments without interrupting studies. The vision was actualized.
Igbo Kwenu! Mezie Avu! Twilight gradually changed to dawn for the tiny town which separates the city of Owerri from the large food producing areas of Ohaji. Education in Avu gradually became less of an effortless privilege and more of an earned right. Avu town discovered that vocational school graduates were more readily employable. The National Basic and Technical Education Board certificate gained popularity in Avu opening up a wider horizon for higher education. Knowledge is power which opens doors for greater opportunities to do even greater things.
Investment: Education in Jomeka Commercial Academy, AVU, Owerri
L = 50
I = 50
C = 30
Business Idea Metric: 130