Youth-friendly telecommunications company, Etisalat Nigeria, has listed 12 universities across the six geo-political zones as beneficiaries of the 2016 edition of its annual scholarship scheme, Etisalat Merit Award. The telco says this is in furtherance of its commitment to youth development and the promotion of academic excellence,
In addition to the institutions, hundreds of their students will also receive grants which have been increased by 100 per cent beginning from the current academic year.
The beneficiary institutions are Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State; Akwa Ibom State University; University of Lagos; Federal University of Technology, Akure; University of Ibadan; Enugu State University of Science and Technology; Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State; Benue State University; Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State; Bayero University, Kano and Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.
Speaking on the 2016 edition of Merit Award, Director, Regulatory & Corporate Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme, said the scheme is a significant component of the education arm of the Etisalat’s tripodal Corporate Social Responsibility which also includes health and environment. He added that the award of grants to schools and students demonstrates Etisalat’s unwavering commitment to the development of Nigeria’s education sector and the promotion of excellence among the youth in the country.
“In line with our passion for youth development, Etisalat is delighted to announce a 100 per cent increase in the grants to students from N100, 000 to N200, 000 beginning from the current year. Our objective is to ensure increased access of students to qualitative education as the grants will enable to buy needed books and research materials that will boost their capacity to do well in their studies,” he said.
Ikeme added that in order to have a more inclusive scholarship scheme and in aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Etisalat has expanded the scholarship scheme by adding another category that accommodates persons with disabilities. “They are part of us and they need our love and care. This new category aims to identify and encourage physically challenged students that are performing well in their academics,” he stated.
The 2016 regional presentation ceremony of the award will hold in Ibadan, in November. Since it was launched eight years ago, the Etisalat Merit Award Scheme has awarded over 1,400 scholarships to outstanding Nigerian undergraduates with the highest CGPA in courses like Electrical Electronics Engineering, Computer Science and Management Sciences.