By Sam Gbeke in Abuja
Over 1164 students have benefited from MTN Nigeria’s scholarship scheme this 2018, through the MTN Foundation (MTNF), Dennis Okoro, Director of the Foundation, disclosed in Abuja on Tuesday.
Of the number who have been awarded scholarships this year, he said 96 are visually impaired.
Speaking at the Award Ceremony & Alumni Induction of the MTNF Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme, and Scholarship Scheme for the Virtually Impaired students in Tuesday, Okoro said that the Foundation has spent N20billion in twelve years under its Corporate Social Responsibility Plan.
Okoro said the Foundation has offered scholarship to
8,145 students in Africa valued at N1.6 Billion Naira. Of number, 3114 are Nigerians students with1289 of them having graduated.
Okoro said 300 new students are captured for the award this year noting that the figure used to be five hundred but had to be scaled down owing to the harsh economic conditions in the country.
On modalities put in place to monitor the students, he said:
“We trace and monitor their performance after the scholarship scheme through the ‘Society for the Blind’ and dragnet and because they are our Alumni Association, we trace them and once they fail and drop we get their reports and as long as they continue performing we push them through their University courses.”
In his Keynote Address, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said scholarship is a form of student support programme aimed at rewarding excellent academic performance and reduce burden of paying high cost of tuition and other schooling expenses on parents. Adamu said:
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is glad that MTN has keyed into the Scholarship Award Programme of this administration and therefore expresses deep appreciation to the Foundation for this laudable achievement.”
The Minister who was represented by Mr Olagunju Lateef, Director of scholarship board in the Ministry of Education, noted that it was that noteworthy that the MTN Foundation does not only give scholarship awards but also ensures that the graduating beneficiaries from the scheme participate in an employability workshop to ensure that they are better equipped for the labour market.
He added that government would appreciate it more if more scholarships will be made available to the many brilliant but indigent young Nigerians across the country in subsequent editions even as he urges other multinationals to take a cue from the MTN and support the Federal Government’s drive in the area of scholarship delivery to Nigerians.