The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, through the State Scholarship Board, has secured fully-funded scholarships for another 28 post graduate students who are indigenes of the state to study in Europe and America.
Addressing newsmen when he led some of the beneficiaries to the Government House, Enugu, on Friday, to thank Gov. Ugwuanyi for the rare opportunity, the Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Scholarship Board, Barr. Levi Abonyi, disclosed that the scholarship mentorship programme was designed and developed by the Board to expose Enugu students to available funding opportunities around the world, in line with Gov. Ugwuanyi administration’s youth empowerment scheme.
Barr. Abonyi revealed that the scholarship programme was approved by the State Executive Council (EXCO), adding that the programme has produced 46 fully-funded Masters and PhD students from the state.
It would be recalled that the first batch of the programme launched in October 2020 had 18 Enugu State indigenes as beneficiaries.
The Executive Secretary explained that the scheme prepares fresh graduates to enroll directly into PhD programmes without first obtaining a Masters Degree.
He added that the Gov. Ugwuanyi administration’s “goal is to produce a generation of intellectuals who will be better equipped to turn the state around economically and who will be better disposed to compete favourably globally”.
Dwelling further on the state government’s contributions to the programme, Barr. Abonyi said that it “pays the 6 scholarship mentors monthly allowances as honorarium for their services, takes care of the cost of Visa, flight tickets, initial living expenses and other logistics of all successful students at the cost of One million naira (N1,000,000.00), and comes in as a guarantor for the issuance of Visas to the benefiting students”.
Expressing gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi on behalf of the beneficiaries, Lilian Chinenye Ekowo, who will be travelling to the University of Notre Dem, United States of America, thanked the governor for availing them the opportunity to benefit from the scholarship board, disclosing that “Today, each one of us was awarded the scholarship of One million naira travelling expenses”.
Another beneficiary, Mathias Chukwudi Isiani, appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi for his benevolence and commitment to youth empowerment and education.
He advised other young people to develop interest in the programme to improve on their academic careers.
On his part, one of the 18 beneficiaries of the first batch of the scholarship mentorship programme in 2020, Odinaka Kingsley Eze, who graduated from University of Mississippi, USA, expressed delight that “this mentorship programme has up to 46 ambassadors”, saying: “All thanks to His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi for the opportunity”.
He stressed that the experience is quite revealing and enriching in terms of academics and research.
Speaking on behalf of the Mentors, the Coordinator, Enugu State Mentorship Programme, Dr. Kelechi Ugwuanyi pointed out that more Enugu indigenes will benefit from the programme in no distance time, stressing that “this mentorship programme under Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration is focused on raising the next leaders of this state”.
According to him, “Our target is that before His Excellency (Ugwuanyi) finishes his tenure, we must have close to fifty or one hundred beneficiaries across the world. I am happy to say that today we have a spread of ambassadors in USA, Canada, Japan, Netherland, Egypt, China and Czech Republic.
“One interesting aspect of this is that His Excellency did not only constitute this programme, but also promised that each and every one of these Mentees who made it through the process is going to receive the sum of One million naira (N1,000,000.00) to support these persons’ flight ticket, Visa application and other logistics associated with their travelling.
“The Governor made it possible and I am happy to say that they are all holding their cheques and some of them will be leaving this weekend and next week.
“We thank Gov. Ugwuanyi for giving us this opportunity to work for the state and encourage the young ones to be able to go to different countries of the world to study. And we hope that they will come back to put in their best in the economy and development of the State”.