One of the reasons why the illiteracy rate is so high in Nigeria is due to poverty. Many are willing to complete their education and earn university degrees, but not everyone can afford it. If you find it hard to attain tertiary education due to financial reasons, then there’s hope. As long as you’re good at your studies, there are scholarship opportunities available to help fund your university degree. In this article, I will outline 10 scholarships for Nigerian students.
- Best scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students
- 1. Federal government scholarship awards
- 2. NNPC/Total National Merit Scholarship Scheme
- 3. MTN Foundation Scholarships
- 4. Shell Nigeria University Scholarship Scheme
- 5. Agbami Medical and Engineering Professionals Scholarship Award
- 6. Jim Ovia Scholars Program
- 7. Nigerian Women Association of Georgia (NWAG) Scholarship
- 8. NLNG Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme
- 9. PTDF Overseas and Local Scholarships
- 10. SEPLAT Undergraduate Scholarship
Best scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students
1. Federal government scholarship awards
The Federal Ministry of Education has a department called the Federal Scholarship Board, under which scholarships are offered to Nigerian undergraduate and postgraduate students both within the country and abroad.
There are four types of scholarship awards offered by the federal government including the Nigerian award, bilateral education agreement, commonwealth, and sustainable development goals. These scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and cover tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses.
Bilateral education agreement: This scholarship is offered annually to Nigerian undergraduate, master’s and PhD students to study abroad. To be eligible for the undergraduate scholarship, you must be between the ages of 17 and 20, and have a minimum of five distinctions (As and Bs) in your O’level (the certificate should not be older than 2 years).
For postgraduate scholarships, the maximum age is 35 years for a master’s and 40 years for a PhD. A first degree with first class or second class upper division and NYSC discharge or exemption certificates is also required.
The Nigerian Award: This scholarship is given to deserving Nigerian students in public tertiary institutions across Nigeria.
Commonwealth: This scholarship is mainly for postgraduate applicants and it’s given every year to deserving Nigerian students to study in Nigeria or other commonwealth countries.
Sustainable development goals: This scholarship is intended for Nigerian professionals who work in sectors related to one of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDG).
2. NNPC/Total National Merit Scholarship Scheme
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Total Nigeria in collaboration offers scholarships to deserving Nigerian students studying at tertiary institutions. The scholarship is open to all first-year and second-year full-time students studying at approved Nigerian universities regardless of their course of study. The scholarship is worth N150,000 and it’s given to successful candidates every year till the completion of their degree program.
To be eligible, you have to be a full-time 200-level or 300-level undergraduate student in a Nigerian university. You must also show proof of your O’level certificate, UTME score, admission letter and matriculation number. If you are a direct entry student, you will have to show proof of your A-level certificate.
If you have less than 200 in your UTME, less than 2.50 CGPA, or are a beneficiary of a similar award, then you are not eligible for the scholarship.
3. MTN Foundation Scholarships
The MTN Foundation offers annual scholarships to outstanding Nigerian students in various fields of study at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The scholarship is mainly aimed towards 300-level students studying a Science and Technology-related course and blind students studying any course. An award of N200,000 is offered to successful candidates to cover education costs every year till graduation as long as they keep up their good grades.
4. Shell Nigeria University Scholarship Scheme
Shell Nigeria, in collaboration with NNPC, Elf, and Agip Joint Venture, offers scholarships to qualified undergraduate students in Nigerian universities. The scholarships are awarded based on the results of the national SSCE and JAMB examination, followed by an aptitude test at the Port Harcourt, Warri, Enugu, Abuja and Lagos centres.
5. Agbami Medical and Engineering Professionals Scholarship Award
This scholarship program is funded by Chevron Nigeria Limited and its partners. It is offered annually and open to Nigerian undergraduate students in 100-200 levels studying medicine, pharmacy, and engineering. To be eligible, prospective candidates must have a CGPA of at least 3.5 for 200-level students or at least 60% in JAMB for 100-level students and a minimum of 6 credits in O’level. The most qualified candidates will be selected and invited to qualifying exams in specified centres nationwide.
To apply, you need to upload scanned copies of the following documents:
- A recent passport photograph with white background (not more than three months old)
- Admission letter
- Birth certificate
- School ID
- O’level result
- Local government certificate
- Jamb result
6. Jim Ovia Scholars Program
The Jim Ovia Scholars program was founded by the Jim Ovia Foundation to provide financial aid to talented and deserving Nigerian students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies in any field of study. N150,000 is given as a scholarship to all successful candidates every year for the duration of their studies.
Every year, 100 spots are offered for new students to be included in the scheme. Scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, leadership and willingness to help the community. Applications are online and are open to all matriculated full-time students at accredited higher institutions in Nigeria from October until December every year. It is mostly catered to academically qualified yet economically disadvantaged youth in Nigeria.
7. Nigerian Women Association of Georgia (NWAG) Scholarship
If you’re a woman then you’re in luck because the NWAG offers scholarships to female Nigerian undergraduate students in Nigerian universities. The scholarship aims to empower and support female education in Nigeria.
To apply, you need to prepare the following documents:
- Proof of state of origin
- Two letters of recommendation from any two of the following: pastor/imam, village head, local government chairman, or one of your lecturers.
- A letter of recommendation from the dean of your faculty/school or head of your department.
- A current photograph
- A photocopy of your current student ID card.
- A typed, double-spaced, two-page essay on a chosen topic.
8. NLNG Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme
The Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited offers scholarships to high-performing Nigerian undergraduate students. To be eligible, you must have outstanding results in your SSCE and JAMB. You must also be a 100-level student in an accredited Nigerian university, not under any scholarship scheme, and don’t have a parent or family member that is a staff of the NLNG limited to be eligible. Successful candidates are given N300,000 every year till they graduate. Applications are accepted between April and May every year.
The documents you need for your application include:
- O-level results
- JAMB results
- UTME results
- JAMB admission letter
- Student ID card
- Recent passport photographs
- Identification letter from your local government
9. PTDF Overseas and Local Scholarships
The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) provides scholarships to Nigerian students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral studies in oil and gas-related fields. The scholarships cover tuition fees, accommodation, flight tickets, health insurance and a living allowance. The scholarship will be given based on academic merit, and the top candidates in each category from each state will be invited for an interview. Applications are usually accepted between February and March every year.
The documents you need to prepare for your application include:
- Statement of result or certificates from all previous degrees earned.
- NYSC discharge certificate
- O’level result
- Recent passport photograph
- Local government identification letter
- Evidence of membership in professional associations.
10. SEPLAT Undergraduate Scholarship
Every year, the SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company offers scholarships to deserving undergraduate students of federal and state universities in Nigeria. The scholarship is worth N150,000 per year until graduation. To be eligible, you must be in 200-level and above, have at least 5 credits in your O’level including Mathematics and English, and have a CGPA of at least 3.5. You also need a valid email address that they will use to contact you if you are shortlisted.
To successfully land a scholarship you need to be well prepared. You must visit the websites of the scholarships you’re interested in, and find out the details about the eligibility requirements, how to apply and deadlines. Make sure to apply early and review your application before you submit it. Having and maintaining good grades is also key to attaining and sustaining these scholarships.