At least, 370 students in some Nigerian tertiary institutions have received the MTN Foundation award for academic excellence in an award ceremony that was held yesterday in Abuja. The students are drawn thusly: 300 from science and technology, 60 visually impaired and 10 students of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Some of the students were given cash award of N200, 000. Recipients under both scholarships are carefully selected from Public Universities, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and blind students in any discipline under the MTNF Scholarship for Blind Students (SBS) across Nigeria.
The MTN scholarship is an annual scholarship award that recognizes and rewards high-performing students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. It is made up of the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme and the MTN Scheme for Blind Students. Upon completion of a university degree, graduate scholars are equipped with the skills required to build a thriving career through the Skill Up workshop.
Executive secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya congratulated the beneficiaries and assured them that the foundation will be rooting for them as they navigate new terrain, saying MTN has faith that ‘you will do great things.’
“It’s this same faith and belief in the brilliance of our students that spurs us to invest in their education mindful of its critical role in our nation’s development. MTN Foundation Scholarships serve as launch pads for some of our brightest minds, to attain great heights,” she said. The scholarships are in furtherance of the company’s commitment to empowering Nigerian youth and encourage academic excellence in public tertiary institutions across the country.
She told the scholars and the alumni that the event was another opportunity to create a narrative for themselves. She challenged them to take their victory at the selection process as a signatory of yet a renewed vigour to stand out and be different when they get to the labour market. She said the new beneficiaries would be equipped with the right skills to be outstanding in the labour market. “As MTN we believe in you. It’s your life, it’s your fact. You have all it takes to be the most valuable persons,” Sanya said.
Chief ICT officer at Project Management Institute, Nigeria. Patricia Eromosele said the panel discussion where some alumni if the foundation testified to benefits of the MTN Foundation’s interventions has impacted their chosen careers has opened her eyes to the opportunities to be harnessed in the visually impaired and disabled people in Nigeria.
A visually impaired lawyer and writer, Dr Michael Abiodun challenged the beneficiaries, especially the blind among them to overcome every limitation and always strive to achieve their goals in life. He told them to always be optimistic. He told them that an “it cannot be done” mentality leads to resignation to living lesser than one ought.
He said attitudes like “it can be done” and “how can it be done” will open new vistas of possibilities to the special student. “I challenge you to rethink your supposed limitations so that you can make the most of what you have. So, like Emerson also opined, “don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams,” Barrister stated, saying such is the clarion call that leads down the trajectory of unstoppable success.