2,536 Niger Delta Youths get scholarship to purse various undergraduate degrees across the world – Presidency.
The Presidency has said that no fewer than 2, 536 Niger Delta youths are at present pursuing undergraduate degrees across the world.
The Head of Education Unit, Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Eugene Abels, noted that the development was born out of the resolve of the Presidency to make use of formal education as a tool to create “Niger Delta assets.”
Abels said the initiative spearheaded by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, would ensure that the youth study in acclaimed institutions of higher learning overseas.
He spoke in Lagos at an orientation organised for 160 new beneficiaries of the Federal Government scholarship scheme for students from the oil-producing region.
According to Abels, 138 of them will be pursuing first degrees in the United States while the remaining 22 beneficiaries have secured admission to study in the United Kingdom.
The selection of the America-bound students followed a “standardisation process” put in place in conjunction with the United States Pathway Programme of the Kaplan International Colleges.
He said, “Niger Delta students on the Federal Government scholarship scheme are currently on all continents of the world except Antarctica. No fewer than 2,536 Niger Delta students are spread all over the world and still counting.”
He noted that the students are excelling in the various universities spread across the world. According to him, at the Alabama State University, United States, of 40 Niger Delta students on scholarship in the institution, 24 of them bagged first degrees of the institution in April.
“Eleven of these graduates, however, made the President’s list. They are worthy ambassadors of their fatherland,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the students, one of the beneficiaries, Philomena Abe, said they were appreciative of the Federal Government’s gesture.
She said, “We thank you very much for this opportunity. What happened to us is beyond our wildest imagination.”
The Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Ningi, who chaired the orientation session, said the scholarship was a step in the right direction.
Ningi noted that the initiative would go a long way in empowering the people of the region whose “means of livelihood have been bastardised due to the impact of oil exploration and exploitation.”
He, however, warned that the Federal Government should ensure that there were jobs for the beneficiaries on completion of their programmes to prevent them from resorting to criminal activities.
Kuku said that some of the students were already winning awards for academic excellence in the US.
The presidential adviser counselled the beneficiaries on the need to attain heights of academic excellence and make the country proud in their various institutions. (Punch)