Scholar Sponsored Programme, an initiative aimed at offering scholarship to Nigerians to study in some American universities,has announced its intention to develop a private sector initiative.
The programme was initiated by some Nigerians, who got the idea from the African Scholarship Program of American Universities (ASPAU). Though available to Nigerians 49 years ago, it is being adopted by Manemi Nigeria Ltd, an education consultancy/ICT firm.
In a statement, the firmâ€™s Chairman, Prof John Amoda, said: "It was not only an all expenses paid programme, but most importantly, one that was embedded in home-stay families, resulting in ties, which have been sustained with the children of the hosting families. Many efforts have been made to make similar opportunities available to Nigerians on merit, by graduates of the programme, many of whom are over 70 and above," he said.
For awardees, he said the scholarship would cover the cost for a 12-month Mastersâ€™ programme. This includes tuition, accommodation, stipend, return ticket, adding that the coverage will provide support for beneficiaries.
"This was the setting in which ASPAU awardees were able to take full advantage of the spectrum of opportunities that produced competitive socially balanced graduates, who became ambassadors in their campuses. The scholarship programme will be financed by funds raised in the private sector and by sales of forms to contribute to covering processing and logistic administrative costs," he added.
Amoda, who was one of the 100 students who enjoyed the firmâ€™s sponsorship 49 years ago, said given the company's focus, candidates could only apply for courses prescribed by Manemi.
This, the said, is important given the unexpected portrayal of Manemi's scholarship programme as a scam.
He said: "Msnemi's long term design is indicated in the prescription of list of expertise reflected on the courses chosen."
Amoda added that selection would be competitive and based on merit.
â€śThe Scholar Sponsor Programme was established to make such access realisable by every applicant to the programme," he added.