Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State, has declared that applicants for his scholarship scheme did not need to know him personally before benefitting from the humanitarian gesture.
Otti who made the explanation Saturday while speaking during the 2022-2023 Alex Otti Scholarship banquet held at the Sacramento Event Centre , Olokoro, Umuahia South, said that the gesture was borne out of his passion for the youths.
The Governor who said that the scheme was not being bankrolled by Abia State Government but his personal Foundation, said it was part of his contribution for the development of humanity.
He pledged his continued support to the beneficiaries to enable them achieve their full potential.
The Governor announced an increase in the Alex Otti Foundation Scholarship package to beneficiaries from N150,000 to N250,000.
Meanwhile, a total of 34 beneficiaries were selected for this year’s edition, thus bringing the numbers of beneficiaries so far to over 200 since the inception of the exercise seven years ago.
Gov. Otti who said the initiative was a way of investing in the future of Abians, charged beneficiaries not to disappoint but rather put in their best to excel.
He said that the scholarship programme targets bright but indigent students of Abia origin or those resident in the state.
The Governor appreciated the management committee of the scholarship scheme for their input and for remaining objective to the vision of the foundation without compromise.
In his speech, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, and the immediate-past Executive Secretary of the Foundation, Mr Chinedu Ekeke, said the selection process was transparent.
He added that the scholarship award was just an arm of the Alex Otti Foundation which has continued to empower Abia citizens.
He thanked the benefactor for giving himself for to serve humanity, adding that the Governor “never plays politics with excellence.”
He urged the beneficiaries to maintain high standards in education, pointing out that the foundation made sure that beneficiaries must come from public tertiary institutions.
In his remarks, the chairman planning committee and head, logistics, Mr Maxell Umesi, on behalf of the beneficiaries of the 2023 batch thanked the Governor for giving them the latitude to conduct the selection process transparently.
He said that all beneficiaries were selected based on merit.
Umesi noted that the Foundation had over the years produced about six first class students, adding that the Governor is committed to building a generation of accomplished individuals who would continue to do great in their chosen fields.
He urged them to remain worthy ambassadors of the Foundation and state at large.
Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries one of the first class graduates, Mr Kelvin Ikeoha, thanked Governor Otti for giving them a future through the Foundation and pledged to also give back to society.