Telecommunications company, Etisalat Nigeria, has awarded scholarship grants to another batch of 60 Nigerian university undergraduates in further demonstration of its commitment to impacting lives and improving the quality of education in the country.
The beneficiaries received the sum of N100,000 each in support of their education at the 2015 Etisalat Merit Awards presentation ceremony, held in Abuja on Thursday, November 12. The grants were awarded to outstanding undergraduates with the highest CGPA in courses like Electrical Electronics Engineering, Computer Science and Management Sciences. They were drawn from six leading government-owned universities in the northern region of the country. The schools are: Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola; Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Benue State University; Bayero University Kano; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and University of Abuja.
There was also a competition tagged ‘Innovation Moment’, and Ahmadu Bello University won a full projector set as the school with the most innovative idea. However all the schools received branded merchandise and copies of the top three books shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2014 edition, to encourage the development of a reading culture in their respective institutions.
Speaking at the event, the Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, said the Etisalat Merit Awards is a major part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility and it demonstrates Etisalat’s commitment to educational development and the promotion of excellence among the youth segment in the country.
Dikko noted that though successive governments at the state and federal levels have allocated sizeable budgets to education, the delivery of quality education however can no longer be viewed as the exclusive responsibility of governments. ‘‘It has evolved to being a partnership between several stakeholder groups – communities, corporations, and the public at large; as enabled by the government. Thus, at Etisalat Nigeria, we are committed to playing a significant role in encouraging excellent education across the nation”, he said.
The representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, who is the Deputy Director, Colleges of Education, Mr. Ezekiel Funsho, commended Etisalat for the CSR initiative, and said it will go a long way in improving the standard of education in the country.
The Vice-Chancellor, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, who spoke on behalf of Vice-Chancellors of the beneficiary schools, expressed appreciation to Etisalat for its commitment to education through various innovative interventions in the sector as well as in other sectors. “This laudable gesture underscores the importance of public-private partnership. Apart from these grants to the universities and students’ scholarships, I commend Etisalat for its visits to schools and support of students through sport and other social activities. In their last visit to our school, one of our students, Patrick, won a brand new car”.
Congratulating the awardees, Prof. Zuru encouraged them to work harder, “you are the best for now, you should work harder so that you can be here again next year because you are the future of this nation”, he said.
This year the Etisalat Merit Awards will be presented to a total of 20 Nigerian universities and 200 students, bringing the total number of beneficiaries of the program to date to 1,450.