Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The 2019/2020 scholarship season of the Alex Otti Foundation has been concluded with 32 undergraduates of various disciplines emerging from the highly competitive process.
Speaking at a banquet held in Umuahia to honour the beneficiaries, the founder of the foundation, Dr. Alex Otti said the scholarship scheme was motivated by the need to raise a new crop of future leaders.
He said the foundation was set up help those in need of it, as well as intervene in building specialised skills and agriculture, among others.
The financial expert cum politician explained that the main target of the scholarship scheme is “very bright students” from across the 17 local government areas of Abia, whose thirst for tertiary education could end up not being quenched without assistance.
“Our standards are pretty high, so the scholarship is not available for lazy people; not available for people who would not do well; and not available for people who would be truants in school,” he said.
Otti noted that the selected scholars represented “the best of the best” and that the foundation would be monitoring their academic performances hence the scholarship till graduation as long as the beneficiaries continue to post good academic records.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Mr. Chinedu Ekeke had earlier in his remarks explained that the values of the foundation are anchored on three pillars of fairness, opportunity and community.
He emphasised that the selection processes were rigorous and transparent thereby making it possible for deserving winners to emerge from among the hundreds of participants.
The executive director added that the scholarship was meant for those with requisite intellect to face academic challenges and succeed.
In 2017 the Alex Otti Foundation Scholarship Scheme was reorganised and expanded to take in more indigent, but bright students who would need to go through a rigorous but transparent process of assessment to qualify for it.
The 32 beneficiaries could not conceal their excitement at the banquet attended by prominent personalities, including clerics and traditional rulers.
The scholars, who took turns to thank their benefactor, testified to the transparency of the selection process, adding that they emerged winners without riding on the back of any person.