Grooming Centre Inaugurates University Grant Scheme

Oluchi Chibuzor

The governing council and management of the Grooming People for Better Livelihood Centre (Grooming Centre), a leading microfinance institution, has announced its 2022 university grant scheme, aimed at catalysing innovative research and knowledge development in the country.

This is as the organisation also decried non-participation from the Nigerian students leading to accumulated dormant grants that are yet to be accessed for national development.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the scheme recently in Lagos, the Head of Special Projects, Grooming Centre, Chikezie Egbulefu, said the grant was part of their effort to create an ecosystem of innovation that would be upscaled to solve national issues.

He stressed that the grant was also part of the bank’s ways of grooming people for a better livelihood and empowering them to grow out of poverty, especially the economically active poor.

“For the past three years, we have actually given opportunities to 450 students and each year, we earmark N20 million for them to grab, but you find out that since we started, only about 134 have actually benefitted,” explained Egbulefu. “We still have that money that nobody is coming to access, and it is good for them to know that there is money somewhere that is available​ for those going into research that would affect the lives of the economically poor in our country.”

Explaining the criteria, Egbulefu noted that prospective applicant “must be either a student at the undergraduate or postgraduate level in a Nigerian tertiary institution whose research study covers any of such areas as financial inclusion, microfinance, rural development, social enterprise, MSMEs, technological development, women in development or any other research that is aimed at lifting people out of poverty.”​

He added that the focus of the research study must be relevant to the Nigerian context, practical, innovative and capable of promoting any of the above areas of interest.

“The research must show a high level of originality, imaginative thought and be data inclusive. Prospective applicants must be a student at an NUC/NBTE-approved Nigerian university or polytechnic,” he said.

The applicant, he noted, must submit a written recommendation from his/her HOD/project supervisor, a research concept of between 10 to 15 pages, and a final soft copy of the research project on completion of the study.

Clifford Onyeike, Chief Operating Officer of the Centre for Research in Enterprise and Action in Management (CREM) and the Consultant to the programme, said about 100 undergraduate​ and 50 postgraduate students would receive the funds.

“In this edition, we are giving the postgraduate students N200,000 and the undergraduates N100,000,” stated Onyeike. “Now this research will eventually be used to ensure that the body of knowledge in them is used to develop programmes that will lift people out of poverty.”

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