Etisalat, a telecommunications company in Nigeria, has listed the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and 10 other universities across the country for its 2016 annual scholarship scheme known as Etisalat Merit Award.
The other benefiting universities are Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State; Akwa Ibom State University; Federal University of Technology, Akure; University of Ibadan; 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.
The scholarship scheme which is in furtherance of the company’s commitment to youth development and promotion of academic excellence will also benefit hundreds of the universities’ students who will be receiving grants that have been increased 100 percent beginning from this current academic year.
“This scheme is a significant component of the education arm of the Etisalat’s tripodal corporate social responsibility which also includes health and environment,” said Ikenna Ikeme, Director, Regulatory & Corporate Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, in a statement obtained by BusinessDay.
Ikeme emphasised that the award of grants to schools and students demonstrated the company’s unwavering commitment to the development of Nigeria’s education sector and the promotion of excellence among the youth in the country.
He announced a 100 percent increase in the grants to students to N200, 000, up from N100, 000 beginning from this current academic year. “Our objective is to ensure increased access of students to qualitative education as the grants will enable them to buy needed books and research materials that will boost their capacity to do well in their studies,” he said.
In order to have a more inclusive scholarship scheme and in alignment with the sustainable development goals (SDGs), Etisalat has expanded the scholarship scheme by adding another category that accommodates persons with disabilities who, it reasons, are part of the society and therefore need all the love and care. “This new category aims to identify and encourage physically challenged students that are performing well in their academics,” the director said.
It is expected that the regional presentation ceremony of the award will hold November this year, in Ibadan, and Ikeme recalls that since it was launched eight years ago, the 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.