Forty-six Nigerian students in tertiary institutions across the country have emerged as the first set of beneficiaries of the Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI) as the First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, flags off the National Scholarship Programme for Tertiary Education.
A statement issued on Saturday by her media aide, Busola Kukoyi, explained that the beneficiaries were drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, while others were nominated by various women’s societies, including the National Council for Women Societies and the Defence Staff and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA).
In her remark at the ceremony held in the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, the First Lady and National President of the Renewed Hope Initiative congratulated the beneficiaries, noting that the gesture is part of efforts by the initiative to ensure that no willing student is left behind.
She said: “With the National Scholarship Programme (NASP), we envision a Nigeria where every child, regardless of their circumstances, can access the best education available.
It is not just about textbooks and classrooms; it is about igniting curiosity, fostering innovation, and fostering a love of learning that will transcend generations.
“The inaugural National Scholarship Programme of the Renewed Hope Initiative is a four-year scholarship programme of One Million Naira per year and a laptop for each beneficiary. Today we are empowering 46 students from across the states.”
While urging the beneficiaries to take their studies seriously as their GPA will be taken into consideration in subsequent years, the First Lady also encouraged them to take on vocational skills.
RHI Director of Education, Prof. Hafsat Ganduje, in an address of welcome, identified intervention in education as one of the five pillars of the initiative.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, and the Minister of State for the FCT, Mariya Mahmood.
In a related development, a total of 370 farmers across the country are billed to benefit from the intervention of RHI.
The intervention includes the distribution of seedlings, pesticides, and fertilisers to between 15 and 20 farmers per state, for a total of 370.
This was one of the key resolutions at the meeting of zonal coordinators of the initiative with the National President and convener of the initiative, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu.
Other interventions in the sector include
a proposal to encourage the establishment of farm markets in strategic locations and home gardens among Nigerians towards facilitating easy access to fresh farm produce.
In health, another key intervention area for the initiative is a partnership with UNICEF to streamline and sanitise the process of birth registration.
The same partnership is also to be explored to promote immunisation and stamp out polio.
The First Lady called on the Zonal coordinators to be at the vanguard of the process in their respective domains, urging all of them to be part of the immunisation process
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