Telecommunications Company, Etisalat Nigeria rewarded 70 university undergraduates through its education empowerment scheme, the Etisalat Merit Awards recently.
The students, who brought the total number of awardees for 2012 to 200 were rewarded with educational grants at a ceremony held at de Renaisance Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The telecom giant also used the occasion to reaffirm its commitment to impacting and improving the quality of education among Nigerian students in the country.
The scholarships were awarded to outstanding undergraduates from seven public universities in the South-West region with the highest CGPA in courses like Electrical Electronics Engineering, Computer Science and Management Sciences.
The schools include: University of Benin, University of Ibadan, Lagos State University, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Federal University of science, Technology, Akure, and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, and Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.
Etisalat Director, Products and Service, Mr. Lucas Dada, who represented the Etisalat CEO at the event, said the scheme is a demonstration of the firm’s commitment to educational development and promotion of excellence among young people.
“It is well-known fact that education fosters development, and is a powerful tool for change, change that facilitates economic advancement of any nation. Etisalat Nigeria is passionate about sustainable development of our country, which is why we have focused much of our CSR efforts on education, the backbone of progress. The Etisalat Merit award is one of such efforts focused on tertiary education, rewarding and encouraging excellent academic performance. Today’s presentation ceremony brings the total recipients for 2012 to 200,” he said.
According to Dada, the scheme which is in its fourth year has awarded scholarships grants of N100,000 each to over 800 University students across the country. “This is the third regional presentation ceremony we will hold this year across Nigeria. In the scheme, we award scholarship grants of N100,000 each to 10 best second and third year students in three important courses namely; Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, and Business Management from each university. The students are selected based on merit, coupled with indigenousness to the university’s location. We also have a grant for each partner university, towards the maintenance of academic excellence in their respective schools,” he concluded.
The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olokoga, who represented Governor Babatunde Fashola praised Etisalat for sustaining the scheme.
“I really appreciate Etisalat for assisting the government to develop and promote the education sector in the country, and I also like them to put in a mechanism to monitor recipients to ensure good use of the grants, and urge other multi-national companies to emulate the good work being done by Etisalat,” he said.
One of the students, Somefun Oluwaseun, a 300-level Electrical Engineering student of FUTA, was also grateful to Etisalat for making life easy for the youth and their parents who by virtue of this scholarship will not be under constraints to pay school fees.
The event also feature a life-changing seminar by renowned motivational speaker, Niyi Adesanya, a debate competition among students grand performance by the winner of the Etisalat sponsored Nigerian Idol Season 2, Mercy Chinwo.