Undergraduate Scholarships: 360 Young Nigerians Now MTN Scholars
It was at a virtual event, (the new normal as we now say), where MTN Foundation, on Nov 12, 2020, formally awarded scholarships to 360 university students. The scholarships so awarded were under the MTNF scholarship schemes made up of the MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship (STSS) and Scholarship for the Blind Students (SBSS).
Dignitaries in attendance included the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi; Honourable Minister of Science & Technology, represented by the Acting Director-general of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr. Francis Chizea; and former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, amongst other notable VIPS.
Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi , representing the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said: “We are here with the MTN Foundation to celebrate scholars that have excelled in school. MTN is also supporting people with disabilities by funding their education and this is very commendable. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is constantly working towards elevating skills over degrees. We are also committed to ensuring that individuals are empowered with the right tools and skills.”
In the same vein, Honourable Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who was represented by Dr. Francis Chizea said: “I am glad that MTN, in giving back to the society through its foundation, set up a scholarship scheme to empower the youths and as well, drive science and technology. This is a welcome development and a commendable effort that other organizations need to emulate.”
A major highlight of the ceremony was a fireside chat themed “Insight. Influence. Impact”: where thought leaders shared inspiring insights with the scholars.
Nigeria’s former Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson reiterating the role MTN continues to play in the ICT space and its impact on the country, was of the view that “We need to get a workforce that is very comfortable with technology. We are in a state where we need world-class educational institutions and interventions such as this that will enable students to be very vast in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Johnson said.
As a lead-up to the ceremony, this year’s graduating students from the scholarship programme were hosted to a career incubation boot camp facilitated by experts from Google, Oracle, Cisco and Jobberman. The facilitators shared insights on various opportunities amongst other vital employability tips.
Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, said, at the scholarship award ceremony and workshop for graduands, “Providing access to quality education is the first step to a world of opportunity for the youth of our nation. We know it does not stop there. We need to also ensure that they are adequately prepared for the workplace. We hope that the fireside chat at the award ceremony will inspire the students to reach for greatness and innovation. Furthermore”, she continued, “it is our belief that the employability workshop held earlier will enrich the career path of the graduating students. The MTNF scholarship scheme is more than just
funds”, she said: “it is a commitment to build the capacity of our youth. We wish all our graduating scholars success as they set out to take on the world and congratulate all awardees as the next set of young nation builders in the making.”
The newly awarded scholars will each enjoy a scholarship grant worth N200,000 annually till graduation as long as they maintain a CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent. The scholarship covers tuition, book allowance and stipend. Till date, MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 3,829 students valued at over NGN 2.1Billion.
The MTNF annual scholarships are awarded to high performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.