Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,
Nsima U. Ekere, has directed the immediate payment of all outstanding
scholarship fees for beneficiaries of the 2016 NDDC Overseas Post
Graduate Scholarship.
In a meeting in Port Harcourt, Ekere expressed unhappiness that
beneficiaries of the scheme were facing unfortunate hardship due to
delays in remitting both the tuition fees and upkeep allowances and
called on them to submit their bank details to the NDDC immediately.
The Managing Director disclosed that only 32 out of 200 beneficiaries
have so far submitted their personal international bank information
and promised to pay them immediately.”I am very unhappy about this
needless delays and the untold hardship our scholars are going through
right now,” Ekere said, adding: “This is not acceptable. They are our
children. They represent the future manpower and professionals that we
are building to help transform the Niger Delta region and we cannot
afford to allow them go through this kind of suffering.”
He declared that the new Governing Board and Management were
determined to improve all governance, project and programme
implementation protocols within the Commission and reaffirmed “the
commitment to doing what is right and proper at all times.”A total of
200 scholars emerged out of 4,300 applicants from a highly competitive
NDDC Overseas Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, which included a
computer based examination and oral interview, is worth $30,000 each,
covering both tuition fees and up keep allowances.
However, the Managing Director disclosed that NDDC will pay each
beneficiaries an additional N500,000.00 to cover their local
expenditure in Nigeria. “This includes their visa fees and
transportation costs,” Ekere disclosed.
A breakdown of the 32 beneficiaries shows that 21 are in United
Kingdom universities, six in American universities, three in Canadian
universities, and one each in Malaysia and Russia. While 20 of the 32
are pursuing master’s degree programmes in various science and
Technology courses, 12 are Ph.D scholars in similar fields.
The Managing Director also announced the appointment of Mr. Anietie
Usen, Director, Commercial & Industrial Development of the Commission,
to head a special committee tasked with reviewing and overhauling the
implementation of the Scholarship Scheme and directed the immediate
creation of a help desk for all inquiries.“The help desk will help
ease communication and provide important and prompt responses to
inquiries concerning the scholarship scheme,” Ekere said, adding that
such inquiries should be directed to Mr. Loveday Nwachi on