BusinessDay

MTN Foundation awards N6bn scholarships to Nigerian students

MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships worth over N6 billion to students, including the visually impaired across tertiary institutions in Nigeria since the inception of the programme over a decade ago.

The latest scholarship awards by the foundation went to 370 students: 300 students in science and technology, 60 blind students in any field and 10 students who performed best in the Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME).

Speaking at the award ceremony and alumni induction of the foundation scholarships on Tuesday in Abuja, Odunayo Sanya, the MTN Foundation executive secretary, said each student will receive an annual sum of N200,000 as long as they continue to meet requirements. These include a minimum of 3.5 CGPA or its equivalent, acquisition of any skill relevant to the field of study, among others.

Sanya also explained that since inception, the sum of N200,000 has been awarded yearly to eligible students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) under the MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship (STS) and to blind students in any discipline under the MTNF Scholarship for Blind Students (SBS).

She also disclosed that recipients under both scholarships were carefully selected from public universities, colleges of education and polytechnics across Nigeria. In addition, she said students on either scheme who maintain the required grades have their scholarships renewed annually until they graduate.

“Our work in preparing these future leaders does not end there. Upon graduation, each scholar takes part in the MTN Foundation ‘Skill Up Training’ to ensure they are well equipped to compete and add value. We are proud of the work we do through this initiative, guided by our unwavering belief in the transformative power of education in our nation. We are also excited about what lies ahead for our scholars and alumni and wish you the very best in your endeavours.

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“It’s the faith and belief in the brilliance of our students that spurs us to invest in their education mindful of its critical role in our nation’s development. MTN Foundation scholarships serve as launch pads for some of our brightest minds, to attain great heights. These scholarships are in furtherance of our commitment to empowering our youth and encouraging academic excellence in public tertiary institutions across the country,” she further said.

Paulinus Okwelle, executive secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), in his goodwill message, described as “highly commendable” the award of scholarships, especially as it involves students in tertiary institutions in the field of STEM. While urging beneficiaries to make the most of the opportunity, he informed that the commission will collaborate with the foundation “in this giant stride in our investment in education.”

A beneficiary of the award, Sofiya Mustapha, who is visually impaired, narrated how the scholarship impacted his education and career. “I have achieved a lot, I learnt English through MTN scholarship, I learnt data programming, and attended courses on programming. When I entered school at 100 level, I started with a 4.4 CGPA, but when I got the scholarship, I was able to get materials and my CGPA eventually increased to 4.57.

Chinedu Nnonso, a graduate of the University of Nigeria Nsukka also shared a similar experience. He said “when I first entered school, it was not easy because I could barely afford to pay my school fees. But after I obtained the scholarship, it became a life-changing experience for me.”

The MTN scholarship is an annual scholarship award that recognises and rewards high-performing students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. It is made up of the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme and the MTN Scheme for Blind Students.

Upon completion of a university degree, graduate scholars are equipped with the skills required to build a thriving career through the Skill Up workshop. Scholarship award ceremonies will also hold in Lagos on April 1, and Owerri on April 6.

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