By Dipo Olowookere
Leader in global payments services, Western Union, has expressed its intention to award grants to fund full scholarships to six qualifying university students in Nigeria, as part of its ‘Back-to-School’ promotion this year.
The scholarship grants, worth a total of $8,450 (N3 million) will be offered in collaboration with the Joseph and Eunice Oladaiye Foundation, a Nigerian NGO. The scholarships will cover tuition costs, books, supplies and meals.
Western Union Regional Vice President for Africa, Aida Diarra, said, “The scholarship grant is a demonstration of our support of the communities where we serve consumers. At Western Union, we believe that education, access to financial services and economic opportunity go hand in hand.”
Western Union has a history of supporting education in Nigeria, and has pledged more than one million dollars since 2012—some direct funds and some joint funding in collaboration with the Western Union Foundation and the support of participating Nigeria-based Western Union Agents
Since 2012, Western Union funded full scholarships worth $30,000 to 10 Nigerian undergraduates.
In addition, Western Union donated school materials including school bags, pencils, pens and water bottles, worth over $100,000 to pupils in public primary schools across Nigeria.
Separately, and to complement Western Union corporate support of top education in Nigeria, between 2012 and 2016, the Western Union Foundation collaborated with Diamond Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank Nigeria, UBA, Skye Bank, FBN and GTBank, to refurbish and equip 10 public school libraries with material worth over $280,000, and during the same period of time, over $600,000 was donated to UNICEF to support a teacher training program in Nigeria. As a result of this program, more than 300 female primary school teachers benefited from the training.
Western Union bridges geographical gaps through its offering of diverse options to send and receive money with reliability, convenience and speed.
From a single location with the First Bank of Nigeria in the heart of Lagos in 1996, Western Union has expanded its walk-in retail agent location count to more than 5,100, as of June 30, 2017, with a presence in every one of Nigeria’s 36 states.
The company’s channel diversification focus also allows Nigerians to receive money into 2.2 million mobile wallets and into more than 50 million bank accounts. More than 20 Nigerian majority-owned businesses form the foundation of an Agent network that connects Nigerians to their loved ones around the world.
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