Nestlé Nigeria PLC has announced the second phase of her community scholarship scheme for youth of her host communities. The scholarship scheme is positioned to enable deserving students of such communities attain their educational and personal aspirations through financial sponsorship.
The scheme, which was launched in 2020 for the host communities of the company’s factories located at Sagamu Interchange, Ogun State, and Abaji, Federal Capital Territory, has been extended to include the host community of the company’s third factory in Agbara, Ogun State.
The scheme, which is in two categories, senior secondary and tertiary, will grant funds to cover tuition, accommodation, uniform, books and other expenses for the duration of beneficiaries’ education in the respective categories.
The programme is aligned to Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 4 – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
Several factors including inadequate infrastructure, lack of opportunities, accessibility and affordability are top issues limiting access to quality education in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the organisation, adding that the Nestlé Community Scholarship Scheme seeks to help bridge the gap by providing financial support to help youth complete their science and technology studies in the secondary and tertiary categories.
Speaking at the event to introduce Nestlé Scholarship scheme in Agbara, the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Mrs. Victoria Uwadoka, said: “In a nation with a high youth population like ours, communities cannot thrive if they fail to offer a future for younger generations. Nestlé Community Scholarship Scheme aims to contribute towards creating a future for youth by preparing them to participate in industry. The focus on science and technology is deliberate to build much needed local capacity.
“We are therefore pleased to announce the extension of the scheme to deserving youths in Agbara. The scholarship awards cover the cost of tuition, accommodation, uniforms and books for the duration of beneficiaries’ studies so long as they attain the minimum required academic performance each year.”
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in Ogun State, Professor Abayomi Arigbabu, represented by the Zonal Education Officer, Ado-Odo Ota, Mr. Olugbenga Kikisuhu, commended Nestlé for the initiative.
He said: “A modest history is being recorded here today as Nestlé Nigeria PLC has taken a giant step by extending its love and generosity to better the lots of under- privileged and deserving indigenous students of Agbara community. One of the most important scholarship benefits to our society is that it gives us engineers, doctors, academics, lawyers and scientists from backgrounds that ordinarily could not have met up with the financial burdens of education.”
On his part, the Alagbara of Agbara Kingdom, HRM Oba (Barr.) Lukman Jayeola Agunbiade, Olute III, said: “This scholarship scheme is a laudable initiative by Nestlé Nigeria PLC. I am delighted to be part of this event promoting the education and empowerment of youth in Agbara. The company has positively impacted the community over the years, and we have enjoyed a good relationship.”
One of the beneficiaries of the scholarship in the tertiary category, Rereloluwa Obafemi-Moses, a Medical Student of the University of Lagos, expressed her delight at being selected as one of the beneficiaries of the scheme. She said that the award means a lot to her as it will further motivate increased commitment to her academics. She also appreciated Nestlé Nigeria for its investment in young Nigerians.
The event had stakeholders including community leaders, youth leaders, principals of beneficiary secondary schools, parents and education officials in attendance.
Some 109 students drawn from the company’s communities around Owode-Egba, Sagamu, Abaji and Agbara currently benefit from the scheme. They were selected based on their academic performance and rigorous verification processes.