By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
The announcement of the endowment of Chief M.F. Lababidi Fellowship Fund at Columbia Business School (CBS) in New York, United States of AmericaÂ has opened a new window of opportunity to Nigerian students.
The post-graduate scholarships is endowed by the renowned industrialist and Chairman of Starcomms Nigeria Plc, Chief Maan Lababidi (OON).
The fund will provide financial support for African students enrolled for the CBSâ€™s MBA degree.
In awarding the fellowship, preference will be given to students who have lived, worked or studied in Nigeria.
Broadly speaking, the fellowship is intended to support students from Africa and it will be available beginning from the 2010/2011 academic year. The scholarship award will be based on merit.
Omar Lababidi, a 2007 alumnus of Columbia Business School and spokesperson for the Lababidi family said: â€œWe are proud to support African students at CBS, one of the worldâ€™s leading business schools. Now more than ever, solid business and leadership skills are required to meet the demands of an increasingly global marketplace and to develop sustainable economic growth in Africa.
My experience at Columbia was transformative, and we want to help future students benefit as wellâ€.
Professor Amir Ziv, Vice Dean and Samberg Faculty Director, said: â€œOne of Columbiaâ€™s great strengths is its global alumni network, and Mr. Lababidi epitomises the commitment of our alumni to the school. We are very appreciative of the Lababidi familyâ€™s generosity in providing this fellowship to future students from the African continentâ€.
For the past three years, Lababidi, through Starcomms Plc., has been partnering with Columbia Business School to organize forums in Nigeria where representatives of the school rub minds with aspiring Nigerian students. This annual collaboration is designed to enhance the skills and experience of Nigerian professionals who may want to proceed to the institution for further education.
Chief Maan Lababidi has devoted much of his time to supporting sound educational pursuit for young Nigerians. He is the executive chairman of the Fouâ€™ad Lababidi Foundation which oversees the administration of the highly acclaimed Lababidi Islamic Academy, a post-primary educational institution based in Abuja.