Robert Smith, an African American billionaire, is the Good Samaritan, who has offered to sponsor the education of 24 Chibok girls who were rescued from Boko Haram captivity in October this year.
This revelation was brought to light on Tuesday, December 27, by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant on media to President Muhammadu Buhari, at an interaction with journalists in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
According to Shehu, Mr Smith has offered to sponsor their education at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola in Adamawa state.
The spokesman to the president said that the girls will be admitted through negotiation at the prestigious American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, with the American billionaire footing the entire bill of the girls’ tuition, accommodation, feeding and other related expenses.
“Smith has offered to pay for the education of the 21 released through negotiations and is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free.
“The Murtala Mohammed Foundation in the country is equally interested,’’ he added.
Shehu revealed that the Nigerian government is treating the recently released 21 Chibok girls as adoptees of the Federal Government.
“But there is a lot of local and international interest in the future plans of the girls,’’ he added.
It costs anywhere from $5,000 to $11,000 a year to educate a student at the school which is owned by wealthy frontline Nigerian politician and businessman Atiku Abubakar.
Who Is Robert Smith?
He is a 54-year-old businessman, who attended good American colleges such as Cornell and Columbia universities. At Cornell, he picked a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and an MBA at Columbia. He lives in Austin, Texas.
According to a short bio written on him by Forbes, he was the son of PhD holders and was bussed across town to his school in the early days of desegregation.
He is also the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, an investment firm which is currently worth over $26 billion in assets as of September 2016.
Mr Smith is ranked by Forbes as the 268th richest person in America, and the second wealthiest African American on the list, the only person ahead of him, is Oprah Winfrey.