Perhaps, when African Continental Bank received a request for a N500 loan on the 1st of April 1988, someone in the bank might have thought it was an April Fool’s Day prank. It wasn’t!

In fact, many years later, that request which was never granted formed part of the life’s story of one of Nigeria’s most notable lawyers, and sadly, that loan amount has become pitifully insignificant.

The request came from a fireman in the Benue State Fire service who was also a Student of the University of Jos.

The loan was rejected and it must have been a hope dashing refusal. It was not rejected because it was thought to be an April Fool’s day prank, but for a reason which may be within the policy of the bank. The author of that letter, Jibrin Samuel Okutepa, did not disclose this via his X handle where he posted the story and one of the correspondences exchanged during the request for the loan dated 18th of April,1988.

Today, the same Jibrin Samuel Okutepa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Nigeria’s top title for Lawyers. He is, apart from the title, a notable legal practitioner.

As the economic situation in Nigeria worsens and many professionals continue sliding into poverty, Mr Okutepa on his X handle shared an inspiring story in his life which is trending and has probably offered hope to many Nigerian lawyers who are currently facing the risk of abject poverty.

Though the legal community will need more than the words of encouragement from one person, Okutepa’s story provides motivation for numerous Nigerians, particularly his colleagues who are staring uncertainty in the face and see reasons to keep hope alive from his story.

Mr Okutepa wrote,

“One thing that I know for sure is that God has the map of our destinies in his hands. That you can not afford N500.00 today does not mean you will forever live in penury and / or poverty.

God can bless you if you remain focused, committed, and dedicated to pursuing your goals with courage and determination. On the 1st of April 1988, I begged the then ACB Plc to borrow me the sum of N500.00 as can be seen in my attached application.

The bank refused. I did not know what to do. I was in the University of Jos then. But God kept me. The refusal to give me a loan of N500.00 was about the same time, I had a reason to reject the scholarship awarded to me by the government of Benue State.

The reason I stated earlier today in my post here was because I was on study leave with pay. My salary was megre. It was just N131.00. I reason rightly in my honest view that it will be inequitable and unlawful to enjoy the scholarship and enjoy the benefits of study leave with pay at the same time.

N131.00, as I said, was my salary as a leading fireman in the Fire Services of Benue State. God has been kind and faithful and fair to me. He took me from nothing to where I am today and where I will be heading to greater glory tomorrow.

What we need to make Nigeria a better place for all is honest leadership. Being committed and dedicated can bring you out of all hardships. God has been very kind to me.

When I stumbled into this document, I remembered with nostalgia my experiences in the university of Jos. Life may be tough today.But with God, it will be soft and good tomorrow. You don’t need to engage in fraud or advance fee frauds to survive as a person.

Today, I have many reasons to be grateful to God, who saw my end from the beginning and led me here. God did not abandon me, and He will not abandon you. Keep trusting Him and be focused. Pursue your convictions with courage and determination, and you will overcome poverty and challenges of life.”

In deep reflection, one will ask what will N500 do for a student today; an amount which would have been about $85. Today $85 is more than N100,000.

2 thoughts on “A 1988 loan application by a Nigerian lawyer resonates motivation, triggers reflections

  1. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

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