The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has presented award letters to 189 successful candidates under its Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship Programme for scholars in the Niger Delta.
Mr Chiedu Ebie, Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, presented the letters to the prospective scholars at a pre-departure and award ceremony in Port Harcourt on Friday.
This is contained in a statement by the commission’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Pius Ughakpoteni.
Ebie said the scholarship scheme was an important element of the commission’s human capital development programme.
“The foreign post-graduate scholarship programme is an important component of our human capital development that seeks to use education to change fortunes of the region.
“Hence, we commend the successful candidates for their resilience as well as to the NDDC management for sustaining the scholarship programme.
“Beneficiaries of the scholarship must make the best use of the opportunity given to them,” he advised the students.
The Managing Director of NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, said the 189 successful candidates went through a transparent electronic process before they were selected from the over 25,000 that applied.
He urged the scholars to be good ambassadors of Nigeria by taking their studies seriously, to excel in their chosen fields of study.
“To this end, funds for tuition and accommodation will not be delayed. So, beneficiaries should emulate previous beneficiaries who had set enviable standards.
“Beneficiaries should avoid distractions to enable them excel in their studies, so that they can come back to impact the Niger Delta and the entire Nigerian system for good.
“The scholarship programme is proof that the region is flush with talented and intelligent youths,” he said.
Ogbuku said that beneficiaries that bagged distinction in their Master’s degree programme would automatically be awarded scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. degree.
On his part, Dr George Uzonwanne, Director of Education, Health, and Social Services, NDDC, urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity for the benefit of all.
He said of the 25,000 candidates that applied online for the scholarship programme, 5,000 took the Computer Based Test, after which the successful candidates were invited for an oral interview.
According to him, the foreign post-graduate scholarship scheme which started in 2010 aimed to equip the youths of the Niger Delta with relevant knowledge and skills.
“So, we are optimistic that the process adopted in selecting beneficiaries will continue to produce first class performers.
“The best performing candidate for the 2023/2024 NDDC foreign scholarship exercise is Miss Omogbemi Olayemi from Ilaje in Ondo state,” Uzonwanne added.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the best performing candidate in the exams, Olayemi, thanked NDDC for making the selection process transparent, and pledged to make the country proud.