For their excellent performance in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), 16 candidates have been awarded scholarship worth N16million by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to study engineering courses in higher schools.
The beneficiaries, comprising males and females, have indicated interest to study mechanical, industrial production, electrical, computer as well as civil engineering in Nigerian universities. The best three of the 16 candidates, Maduafokwa Egoagwuagwa Agnes, Nwobi Okwuchuwu David, and Ojuba Mezisasha Shalom, scored 369, 363 and 359 in the examination.
Each of the candidates will get N200, 000 per year for the next five years if they gained admission this year. Besides, each of them got a brand new laptop while the best candidate, Maduafokwa got an extra new laptop and a tablet donated by the President, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, Mrs. Funmilola Ojelade, and other sponsors.
Speaking virtually at the unveiling of the candidates in Lagos, the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, described the gesture by the NSE as uncommon in the history of the profession. He said it would go a long way in deepening students’ interest in engineering profession and bridging the observed capacity gap among engineering graduates.
According to Zulum, an engineer, the initiative will also strengthen existing policies towards capacity development for the industry. He pledged to support the society in achieving its mandate.
Addressing the gathering, which attracted parents, top practicing engineers in Nigeria and across the world as well as officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the President of NSE, Babagana Mohammed, explained that the gesture was in line with the institution’s strategic mission and objective of getting more Nigerians to study and practice engineering, and to grow the profession in all its ramifications.
“The potential future inventors, innovators and problem solvers will enjoy the scholarship for the five-year duration of their studies at their preferred local universities.”
Mohammed revealed the twin criteria for the selection of the candidates as overall performance in terms of scores in the 2020 UTME examination and geopolitical merit consideration.
He said that a trust fund and an account would be created for the scholarship fund to be managed by an independent committee.
Mohammad charged Nigerians to see it as sacred responsibility to position the engineering profession and future workforce to play a critical role in evolving society where technical skills and creativity would be highly sought after.
“The seeds for Nigerian and indeed African technological transformation and breakthrough need to be planted and nurtured today”, he said.
The Deputy Director of JAMB, Dr. Lawal Yusuf, lauded the NSE for the initiative and charged Nigerians to continue to stand up in finding solutions to everything that constitutes problems in the society
Maduafokwa, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, said she was passionate about studying engineering, urging her colleagues to justify the NSE gesture by working hard and not disappoint the engineering body in their academic pursuit.