By Uchechukwu Nnaike
MTN Foundation (MTNF) has awarded scholarships to 360 university students at a virtual ceremony held recently.
The scholarships were awarded under the MTNF Scholarship Schemes made up of the MTNF Science and Technology Scholarship (STSS) and Scholarship for the Blind Students (SBSS).
In attendance were the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, represented by the acting Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr. Francis Chizea; former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, among other dignitaries.
Speaking at the ceremony, Adeluyi said: “We are here with the MTN Foundation to celebrate scholars that have excelled in school. MTN is also supporting peoplebwith 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.”
Also speaking, 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 drive science and technology. This is a welcome development and a commendable effort that other organisations need to emulate.”
A major highlight of the ceremony was a fireside chat with the theme ‘Insight. Influence. Impact’ with thought leaders sharing inspiring insights with the scholars.
Former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson reiterated the role MTN continues to play in the ICT space and its impact on the country, saying, “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 (STEM).”
Before 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.nFacilitators shared insights on various opportunities among other vital employability tips.
Speaking on the scholarship award ceremony and workshop for graduands, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said: “Providing access to quality education is the first step to a world of opportunities for the youths 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, 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; 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 N2.1 billion.
The MTNF annual scholarships are awarded to high performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.