Otti Makes Scholarship Scheme More Attractive, Increases Funding as Education Cost Rises
34 New Beneficiaries Receive Letters of AOF Scholarship Awards
As the cost of university education keeps rising by the day, Abia State governor, Dr. Alex Otti has enhanced the financial value of the scholarship scheme which he operates through the Alex Otti Foundation (AOF).
He said that with effect from the 2022/2023 academuc session students under the AOF scholarship would receive N250,000 per session as against N150,000 they were getting before. This 67 percent increase in the monetary value of the scholarship is execpected to lift the finanvial burden off the shoulders of parents/guardians of the Otti scholars..
He announced the cheering news on Saturday during the 2022/2023 scholars banquet organised by the AOF to formally unveil 34 new beneficiaries added to the scholarship scheme.
The enhancement of the scholarship package was in apparent response to the new economic realities and hiking of tuition fees by some public universities.
A loud, spontaneous ovation erupted inside the hall at Sacramento Event Centre, Amakama Olokoro, Umuahia South Local Government, where the banquet was held. The beneficiaries and their parents sustained the ovation for minutes in appreciation of what the scholarship award meant to them.
However, Otti was quick to remind the new scholars and those already on the scheme that the rules have not changed, saying that every scholar must post a minimum of 3.5 GPA per session to remain a beneficiary.
“The scholarship scheme is targeted at students who will consistently remain at the top,” he said, adding, “we are building a new community of intellectuals who will tomorrow rule the world with their ideas”.
The Abia governor, who had as a private citizen, set up the AOF and has been running the scholarship component for past seven years, said that it would remain private.
He emphasised that the AOF scholarship scheme has no link to Abia government and it would continue to be funded from private source as it has been from onset.
While congratulating the newest set of scholars, Otti charged them “to think differently and find solutions to problems”.
“Don’t join the crowd. Whatever you can do to help, do it because there are so many problems in the society,” he admonished his scholars.
Earlier in his remarks, the head of logistics and chairman of planning committee, Mr. Marcel Umesi, noted that the selection process which started months ago, witnessed a surge of applicants.
He disclosed that six of the past beneficiaries emerged with first class honours degrees in their various courses of studies.
“These high flyers are proof of our excellence,” he said, adding that the AOF was engaged in the search for knowledge and character and is determined to reach the goal.
The Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Chinedu Ekeke, said that Otti strongly believes that politics should be kept out of issues that have to do with education, health and the quest for excellence.
Ekeke, who was the Executive Director of AOF, said that Otti started the foundation when he was not governor and has been funding it without interfering in the selection process of beneficiaries.
He formally handed over to his successor, Chidiebere Nnanna, who promised to keep alive the vision of Otti in setting up the foundation.
Speaking on behalf of the six beneficiaries that obtained first class degrees, Mr. Kelvin Ikeoha, said that “It’s an honour and a challenge” to be among the AOF scholars.
Ikeoha, a graduate of Marine Engineering at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) expressed gratitude to Otti for investing in him and other beneficiaries.
He promised that in due time they would equally give back to the society in following the footsteps of their benefactor.
A 200 level student of Theatre Arts, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo (AEFUNAI), Precious Ubadire who spoke on behalf of the new beneficiaries, and her father, Ubadire Obike, who spoke for parents, both lauded Otti for his philanthropy.