By Efetobore Ruth-anaborhi
I used to be overjoyed to listen to that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has directed the Niger Delta Growth Fee (NDDC) to renew the suspended scholarship programme. The NDDC scholarship scheme is an integral a part of the Fee’s core mandate to equip Niger Deltan youths with related coaching and expertise for efficient participation in growing the oil and gasoline trade domiciled within the area in addition to compete globally in numerous skilled fields.
The scholarship presents nice help to Niger Deltan undergraduates who can’t afford to pay for his or her training as such reviving the programme is a considerate determination that present this authorities is attentive to elementary yearnings of youths within the area. As an NNPC/SPDC scholar, I fairly perceive the affect the scholarship can have on younger individuals within the area searching for instructional help inside the nation or overseas. Again within the day, we lived for such great alternatives though it was extremely aggressive.
Sadly, the Fee turned infamous for poor dealing with of its students amongst all nationwide scholarship boards. There have been studies of delayed tuitions which induced setback to college students and outright abandonment of its students in the course of their tutorial pursuit. The tales we heard of how these younger women and men survived overseas had been fairly horrific. There’s a report I learn on Premium Instances years again concerning the psychological torture NDDC students had been put by when the Fee allegedly deserted them.
The affected beneficiaries, based on report, had been Masters and PhD college students of Niger Delta origin who gained the scholarship awards in 2014 and 2015 to check programs thought-about to be of developmental profit to the area in Engineering, Legislation, Environmental Sciences, Public Well being, ICT amongst others. They alleged that their ordeal began when the then management of NDDC board assumed workplace in November 2016.
In a coronary heart wrenching account, the affected students disclosed that they had been entitled to 30,000 USD every year for 3 years totalling 90,000 USD, for PhD college students and 30,000 USD for only one 12 months for Masters college students, these monies had been typically enmeshed in pointless forms inflicting delays of their tutorial programme. Personally, I’ve a relative – a PhD pupil, who was annoyed into taking on menial jobs to assist himself whereas ready for NDDC to remit her tuition.
Hopefully, this time there will likely be measures put in place to mitigate corruption and make it sustainable. I perceive that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, who insisted that the scholarship be revived, has directed that the scheme be residence pushed with a particular deal with Nigerian universities. I feel that is the best way to go as a result of deemphasizing travelling abroad has eliminated a key incentive for corruption within the scheme and made it much less engaging to individuals who merely wished to make use of it as a platform to depart the nation. Now, solely those that genuinely want assist for his or her training can have the chance.
No doubt, the evaluate of NDDC scholarship to make it home-based presents one other nice profit for Nigerian tertiary establishments as it’s going to spur the Fee to speculate extra on growing infrastructure and sponsoring researches there. Come to think about it, funds meant for abroad research might be channelled into establishing schools and analysis facilities in tertiary establishments inside the nation. This can be a realizable objective that can bequeath a long-lasting legacy within the training sector.
Efetobore Ruth-anaborhi writes from Agbor, Delta State.