…as MTN awards scholarship to 1,105 students
By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami, yesterday said that the federal ministry of communications was working hard in educating Nigerian students to be employers of labour rather than being job seekers after graduation.
The Minister spoke at the MTN foundation scholarship award and alumni induction ceremony in Abuja.
Represented by his Spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman at the event, Pantami said, the aim of education today is to produce graduates with digital skills that can employ labour rather than educate them to become job seekers.
“The aim of education today is not to produce job seekers and this is actually the aim of the honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The aim is not to produce graduates who seek jobs. The aim is to produce graduates who have entrepreneurial skills especially in the areas of ICT” upon graduation they are already employers of labour because they are already equipped with the prerequisite skills to compete with the peace,” he said.
The Minister lauded MTN foundation for its contribution to the Nigerian society especially in the area of providing scholarships to the indigenes and visually impaired.
“What MTN is doing is indeed laudable because they say little drops of water makes a mighty ocean. Efforts from stakeholders, private organisations and public institutions like this add great value to the overall picture of digitalization in the Nigerian economy.
“These things can be done in two major ways; capacity building and developing indigenous content. MTN Scholarship is for indigenous students. I am particularly pleased that there is a special scheme for science related courses or for students who are studying in other disciplines of science.
“This gives impetus to the science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics drive of the present administration of Mohammadu Buhari GCFR. It also adds value to local content development.
“MTN’s decision to give scholarships in science related disciplines is delibrate. It is not random and it is not a mistake. It is keyed into the developmental strategies of not just Nigeria but the world at large because the world is going to acknowledge everything is technology and science is the basis for technological development.”
In conclusion she said, “would like to give a personal advice drawn from my own humble experience. The key to success. Besides having the right support system either financially spiritually or otherwise. The key to success is to do what you love.”
According to Mrs. Suleiman the Minister is absent because he is in Riyadh Saudi Arabia attending the future Investment Initiative summit with President Buhari.
Earlier in her Welcome Address, the Director, MTN Foundation, Hajiya Aishatu Sakauki urged the Scholars to be focused and hard working in their educational pursuit.
She urged them to keep their passion alive, saying that thebintervention does not end after their studies in the four walls of the university, but that they would be inducted into the MTN Foundation alumni with alot of benefits.
Also addressing the Scholars, the Senior Manager, Program implementation, MTN, Mr Abasi-Ekong Udobang, said, “This year, MTN Foundation would be awarding scholarship to a total of 1105 students. This is comprising 995 science and technology students and 110 blind students.
” As it was mentioned before, each scholarship worth N200, 000, which covers your tuition, books, allowance and stipend for Academic year. This scholarship would be renewed annually on the condition that you maintain your grades,” he said.
The MTN Foundation awards annual scholarships worth N200,000 to eligible students studying a science-related discipline and blind students studying any discipline under its Science & Technology Scholarship Scheme (STSS) and Scholarship Scheme for Blind Students (SSBS) respectively.Students under both schemes are from public universities, colleges of Education and Polytechnics across Nigeria. In addition, students on either scheme who maintain the required grades would have their scholarships renewed annually until they graduate.
From inception to date, MTN has awarded scholarships to 3,469 students valued over N1.9Billion with 1,801 students graduating from the scheme. It is worthy of note that the garlands of the scholarship scheme take part in an Employability Workshop to ensure that they are better equipped for the realities of the labour market.