Secondary and Tertiary enrolment remains low in many developing countries, especially in sub- Saharan Africa where inadequate infrastructure, lack of opportunities, accessibility and affordability are the top issues that limit the ability of the youth to obtain quality education. This in turn translates into lack of access to skills and limited opportunities for the teeming youth population.
One of the most important steps for achievement of the SDGs is ensuring access to quality education as this enables successful transitions to the workforce and decent jobs. SDG Goal 4 seeks inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
Nestlé is working towards addressing these challenges in its host communities by offering the youth in Senior Secondary and Tertiary institutions the opportunity to obtain quality education through the commencement of its Community Scholarship Scheme.
The Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Mrs. Victoria Uwadoka in a statement at the launch of the scheme in Abeokuta said, “In line with our commitment to building thriving communities, Nestlé Nigeria is happy to announce the commencement of this initiative. We believe that communities cannot thrive if they fail to offer a future for younger generations. We recognize quality education as an essential element in community advancement and we will continue to invest in the education and capacity development of youth. This is critical to achieving equitable and sustainable development for present and future generations as well as in addressing the challenges of youths who form a large percentage of the population in our host communities.”
Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, represented by Mr Mayowa Odufuwa said, “The Ministry appreciates Nestlé’s efforts at giving back to the society, especially her host communities through her corporate social responsibility initiatives. This initiative will further motivate students as it will create healthy competition and embolden them to study harder and achieve more in their academic pursuits”.
One of the beneficiaries of the scholarship, Eniola Okubote, a first year Electrical & Electronics Engineering student of the University of Lagos, expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Nestlé for the company’s generous support to him and his peers. He stated that the scholarship award has taken young men and women with big dreams, many steps closer to achieving their goals.
With 49 students from communities around the company’s Flowergate factory by Sagamu Interchange and Abaji factory as beneficiaries of the maiden community scholarship awards, the company trusts that the scheme will go a long way towards building the next generation of science and technology professionals who will contribute to the Industrial advancement of the country.