Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Etisalat lifts 500 university students

Etisalat Nigeria has lifted some 500 university students with scholarships grants, as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Speaking on the rationale behind the Merit Awards Scheme, chief executive officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans, who was represented by the Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko, described education as a powerful tool for change and economic growth.

According to him, dynamic economies that have emerged in the last 30 years have done so on the back of heavy investment in education, stressing that this has driven the company’s desire to support the government in encouraging improvement in the educational sector in Nigeria.

The grants, he said, were given under its Merit Awards Scheme, an initiative built on its core CSR platform of empowering Nigerian youths to obtain qualitative education.

He said that about 90 of these university students recently received their grants of N100,000 each at the Etisalat Merit Awards regional presentation ceremony held at the Afficient Event Place in Kano.
And like the students, their respective schools also received a grant of N100,000 from the telecommunication company.

These schools he listed to include the University of Abuja; Bayero University, Kano; Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto; Kaduna State University; Benue State University; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, and Federal University of Technology, Yola.

He also said the scheme was one of four major programmes on Etisalat’s education platform. The others include the Adopt-A-School initiative, Teacher Training Programme and the establishment of the Etisalat CSR Centre.

He pointed out that the Merit Awards scheme focuses on tertiary education, rewarding and encouraging excellent academic performance. And the scheme appears to be paying off, from feedback by the partner universities and recipient awardees.

Commenting on the development, a third-year student of the department of Electrical/Electronics Engineering of the University of Abuja, Ferdinand Enyereibe Nwaoha, and two time recipient of the award has already moved from being a second class upper student to being a first class student.

The award has impacted on me positively, and in many ways. For instance, with the money from the scholarship, I was able to buy a brand new laptop and an internet modem, which has helped to broaden my means of studying. Now I can study with ease, as a lot of the challenges I had before have been eliminated. I can also study and do my assignments online, while also keeping abreast of latest developments in my field of study,” he said.

He noted that the scholarship made him to study harder, knowing that if he maintains the academic excellence, Etisalat would reward him again, and that is what has happened.

“Last year, I came in as a second class upper student with a CGPA of 4.34, but this year, I came in as a first class student with a CGPA of 4.55, and that was from the encouragement I got from the award,” he said.

Another beneficiary, a third-year student of the department of Electrical Electronics of the Bayero University, Kano and two time awardee, Sherafdeen Muhammad, he thanked Etisalat for the award, adding that it has impacted positively on his life, especially in his studies. According to him, the award has helped him in the purchase of text books, which he ordinarily wouldn’t have been able to afford due to their prices.

Also, speaking the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Muhammad Bello, commended Etisalat Nigeria for what it has done in the educational sector in less than three years, not only through the scholarship scheme, but also through its Adopt-A-School initiative and other programmes. 

He urged other corporate organizations to emulate Etisalat, arguing that if all corporate bodies can do half of what the company has done, the nation will be the better for it.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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