By Uche Amunike
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has announced the resumption of its foreign post graduate scholarship programme which has been modified to include Masters Degree courses in Nigerian universities.
This announcement was made by the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Dr Effiong Akwa who confirmed the resumption of the social investment by the interventionist agency, through a statement titled ‘2023 NDDC Foreign/Local Masters Degree Post-Graduate Scholarship.’
These were his words: ‘NDDC, is once again embarking on its Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship Programme to equip our young people with relevant training and skills for effective participation in the local content programme of the Federal Government, as well as enabling them acquire specialization in their fields of study to compete globally in various disciplines.’
He explained that the scheme covers ‘disciplines in engineering, including Software/Aeronautic Space/Aeronautic Engineering, Medical Sciences/Medicine and Surgery, Computer Science Technology, Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Hospitality Management, Law, Architecture, among others.’
He called on prospective candidates to endeavor to visit the NDDC website, explaining that candidates must be of Niger Delta origin and must obtain five credits at not more than two sittings. These students are also expected to have First Class Degree or Second-Class Upper Division to be considered to qualify for the chance to be a partaker.
He maintained that the online application was free, but that shortlisted candidates would sit for a Computer Based Test which will consultants be conducted in every state in the Niger Delta, by consultants who will be on standby to test their IQ, Mathematics, General Paper and their proficiency in the English Language.
The deadline for the submission of applications for both the foreign and local scholarship scheme is in eight weeks, after which the names of successful candidates will be sent to the NDDC website with priority given to the applicants from oil communities, Akwa explained.
He also explained that the scholarship programme, which was introduced in 2010 was geared towards producing top level professionals who have the technical knowledge how, expertise and capacity, with which to compete in oil and gas industries and other sectors.
The federal government, on their part, has said that both the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) and the NDDC are presently working to harmonize the developmental plans in the Niger Delta region into a single regional development plan.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, during the Pre-Council activities of the 5th National Council on Niger Delta (NCDA), Olufunso Adebiyi, apart from the plan ensuring rapid regional development, it would also ‘enhance operationalisation of Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP) tool, which is another dynamic effort of the federal government to drive development in the region.’
According to the Akwa Ibom Governor, who was represented by his Deputy at the event, ‘development initiatives have to do with laying out plans to ensure that data-driven evidence and analysis are used effectively in policy and practice to end poverty, reduce inequality and increase resilience.’