360 undergraduate Nigerian students received scholarships from MTN Foundation through its annual scholarship initiative, bringing the total number of scholars to 1,011 after adding the 651 already recipients.
The recipients were honoured at the award ceremonies conducted in Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. The Honourable Peter Akpatason, Chairman of the House Committee on Telecommunications, Professor Nlerum Okogbule, Special Advisor to the Lagos State Governor on Taxation and Revenue, Abdulkabir Ogungbo, and other distinguished dignitaries attended the various ceremonies. Professor Nlerum Okogbule is the Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University.
The annual scholarships recognise and reward high-performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions. They are usually presented to three categories of students – undergraduates in science and technology-related courses; blind students in any field of study and the top 10 candidates of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Nigeria. Through this initiative, 4,590 Nigerian students have received scholarships valued at NGN 3 billion in the last 12 years.
Speaking at the Lagos event, the Chairman of MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi OFR (mni) said, “This initiative was established with the belief that every individual – regardless of background or socio-economic status – deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams through education, which has a profound impact on shaping minds, fostering innovation and driving societal change.
It is imperative to empower the next generation of trailblazers, problem solvers and African visionaries. This is why we support blind students, top 10 UTME candidates and top-performing STEM students by facilitating access to education and providing tools and resources to help them thrive academically and professionally.”
Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, in his speech delivered by Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Taxation and Revenue, Abdulkabir Ogungbo, commended the Foundation for its commitment to contribution to the development of its host communities.
He said, “I am delighted with the level of commitment of MTN to contributing to the growth and development of its host communities in terms of human and infrastructure development. Today’s ceremony, awarding scholarships to deserving recipients and the induction of past beneficiaries into the scholarship alumni, is a commendable gesture and indicative of their corporate social responsibility.
Indeed, I commend the Board, Management and Staff of MTN Foundation for keeping faith with their mandate of empowering the youth and promoting academic excellence in public tertiary institutions over the past decade. You have done well, and I urge you not to relent in your pursuit of the promotion of excellence. You have been worthy development partners and stakeholders with government and together we will continue to push the agenda of development and growth in our society.”
As part of the MTN Scholarship programme, blind scholars are supported with JAWS screen reader software (authorised licences) and graduating scholars also participate in an employability workshop called “Skill Up!” designed to equip them with skills required for the world of work. This year, MTN Foundation partnered with the Project Management Institute (PMI) for a two-week virtual workshop, preparing the 2023 graduates with skills in agile project management.