Niger Delta: 200 set for NDDC 2018 Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has presented award letters to 200 graduates from the Niger Delta region for its 2018 Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship Programme.

According to a statement by the NDDC, during a pre-departure briefing and orientation at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, charged the scholars to be ambassadors of the Niger Delta region as they carry the flag of Nigeria to foreign lands.

The NDDC Managing Director, who was represented by the Director Special Duties, Dr Princewill Ekanim, said that the Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship Programme was an important component of the Commission’s human capital development programme.

He said: “We recognise the need to bridge the huge manpower deficit in the Niger Delta region, especially in Engineering, Science and Technology, EST, the fields that drive the oil industry. Our aim is to build a pool of professionals that can compete at the global stage.”

Ekere noted that the programme which started in 2010 had so far benefited 1,904 students, mostly at the Masters’ Degree level.  He said that about 4,000 candidates applied for this year’s programme, out of which 200 were selected.

The NDDC boss said: “Our scholars over the years have made outstanding results. In 2016, one of the beneficiaries in the masters’ programme, graduated as the overall best student at the Coventry University in the United Kingdom. In 2017, another beneficiary graduated with a distinction and was the best graduating student in the department as well as the entire post-graduate programme in environmental studies.”

Ekere advised the scholarship beneficiaries to avoid distractions so as to also excel in their studies. “We are sending you out to go and study and come back to impact the Niger Delta region and the entire Nigerian system for good. That is the essence of the scholarship programme,” he emphasised.

In his opening remarks, the NDDC Director for Education, Health and Social Services, Mr. Goshua Okejoto, urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity given to them to acquire technical expertise for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta region.

The EHSS director, who was represented by the deputy director, Mrs. Winifred Madume, reminded the beneficiaries that they owed the Niger Delta a duty to succeed. He added: “As you go to your various schools, conduct yourselves well as we expect excellent performance in all that you do.”

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the best Ph.D. awardee, Miss Mary Essien, thanked the NDDC for making the selection process fair and transparent. She pledged that they would do their best to be good ambassadors for the region.

The successful graduates for the 2018 post-graduate foreign scholarship programme had gone through electronic examination conducted at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, before a final selection interview.

VP Osinbajo hails collaboration as Caribbean University partners Maritime University, UNILAG

The academic partnership between Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Jamaica, and two Nigerian universities – University of Lagos and the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in Delta State – would be mutually beneficial to each country’s human capital development, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this during a meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with representatives from the three universities; a delegation from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) led by the President, CMU, Prof. Fritz Pinnock; and his Nigerian counterparts – the Vice Chancellor, Maritime University, Prof. Maureen Etebu; and the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

According to the Vice President, “The Maritime University is an important part of our journey of developing the Niger Delta, as it would tackle restiveness among youths by providing them with education and training, and so benefit them. So, the Maritime University is a win-win for Niger Delta and Nigeria.”

Prof. Osinbajo further said the partnership between the CMU and the two Nigerian universities (Maritime University and UNILAG) was coming at the right time to help develop the country’s human capital.

“Our relationship with Jamaica is a very important one for us and we must continue to explore the very many areas of collaboration to benefit us all. We are truly grateful for the hand of fellowship extended to us,” the VP added.

Also at the meeting was the Acting High Commissioner of Jamaica, Abuja, John Clarke; and a former governor of Bayelsa state, Timipre Sylva, who is the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council of Maritime University.

The Maritime University, which commenced full academic activities in April, is part of the Buhari administration’s Niger Delta New Vision aimed at developing the region.

Similarly, Prof. Etebu said the CMU has offered scholarships to two students of the Maritime University. ‘we are going to draw strength in terms of experience and exposure from the Carribean university,” she said. Also speaking, Prof. Ogundipe said UNILAG’s postgraduate programmes in Maritime Studies would gain from the collaboration with CMU to meet international standards.

It would be recalled that the Maritime University was granted approval in January this year by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.

Also, the National Universities Commission (NUC) had approved that academic activities commence in three faculties namely; Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management, with a combined total of 13 departments with various specializations – from Marine Engineering, Marine Economics to Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The University commenced lectures in April this year following the admission of students into the university for the 2017/2018 academic year.

2, 835 Graduates Vie For NDDC’s Foreign Scholarship

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has conducted Computer-Based Tests for 2,835 candidates out of the over 4,000 that applied for the Commission’s Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship Scheme for 2018.

Speaking at the Rivers State University, ICT Centre, venue of the aptitude test, the Director, Education, Health and Social Services, Mr Goshua Okejoto, explained that the choice of the electronic examination was to enable the Commission to shortlist the right candidates to be selected for the scholarship scheme.

In a statement, the NDDC Director stated that the Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship, which was started in 2010, was meant to equip Niger Delta graduates with relevant training and skills for effective participation in the local content programme of the Federal Government.

He explained that only candidates who had finished the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and secured admission into foreign universities were eligible to participate in the scholarship award process.

Okejoto said that after the aptitude test, 1,500 candidates would be selected for oral interview. He noted: “The process is very transparent as the candidates see their scores immediately after the test. That is the beauty of the computer-based test.”

According to him, the scholarship programme was designed to encourage excellence and debunk the myth that the Niger Delta was the bedrock of militancy. “The NDDC is using the programme to showcase the best of the Niger Delta and this has been justified by the academic performance of previous beneficiaries,” he said.

Okejoto said that the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, was committed to the success of the programme and had directed that the process should be completed by September 21, 2018 with the presentation of award letters to the successful candidates.

He added: “The MD is very passionate about the programme because he wants the NDDC to continue to build the capacity of graduates from the Niger Delta region.”

He said that some new programmes had been added to the scholarship scheme to help universities in the Niger Delta to engage high calibre staff. This, he said, necessitated the introduction of awards in education in addition to studies in management which was added in 2017.

In his remarks, the consultant for the scholarship programme, Mr Godson Ideozu, stressed that computer-based examination encourages transparency because “candidates get to see their scores immediately after writing the examination.”

He observed that the candidates, comprising those for Masters and Doctorate degrees, were examined primarily in their core area of study, noting that the exercise was not only fair but gave the applicants equal opportunity to compete.

Niger Delta: 2,500 Amnesty beneficiaries for training in fishing sector

In line with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to boost the economy, the Presidential Amnesty Programme has disclosed its plans to train 2,500 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

According to a statement from the Amnesty Office, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, further said 2,000 of the beneficiaries would be employed in the fishing sector at the end of the programme.

Senior Special Assistant to the President, on Niger Delta, Mr. Edobor                 Iyamu, addressing the SAD Amnesty at the meeting in Abuja

Dokubo was quoted as saying that 100 fishing trawlers would be built in Burutu, Delta State, for the training programme expected to commence soon.

 “Towards this end, 100 fishing trawlers are to be built in Burutu, Delta State, for the training programme which is expected to commence soon, at the end of which 2000 of the beneficiaries would be employed,” the statement read.

Inaugurating an implementation committee comprising five subcommittees for the project, Dokubo was quoted as saying that the training will open a vista of opportunities for beneficiaries.”

NDDC to provide more facilities for NYSC in Niger Delta         

  The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has promised to sustain its support for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, especially in the area of providing facilities in the orientation camps in the Niger Delta region.

In a statement from the commission, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, was quoted as saying this during a courtesy visit by the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.

 

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,
Mr. Nsima Ekere , receiving a gift from the Director-General of the NYSC,
Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, during a courtesy visit at the NDDC headquarters
in Port Harcourt

He affirmed that the NYSC scheme had been very beneficial to the country, noting that it had helped to build a sense of belonging among Nigerians, as well as helped to unite the country. He added: “For someone like me, I went to the northern part of Nigeria for the first time during my service year. I am very happy that I served in Kano because some of the lessons I learnt there have helped me to live a better life today.”

Ekere called on all Nigerians to promote and support the NYSC programme, because of the role it was playing in nation building, particularly in electioneering, where most of the ad hoc staff used by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct elections were youth corps members.

He noted: “This has become very helpful because before now, when INEC was using locals for elections, they come in with their individual biases. But the youth corps members, who are mostly not from the area, help in ensuring credible and fair elections.”

The NDDC boss suggested that the NYSC programme should incorporate some basic military training, stating: “I know that in some western countries, that is the system in vogue. There are basic military trainings that will help our youths to become better men by inculcating the virtues of discipline, punctuality and responsibility in them. The trainings will help the participants to grow up with some basic knowledge.”

The NYSC Director-General, Brig-Gen. Kazaure, acknowledged the “tremendous help” NDDC had rendered to the scheme in the past. He said: “We felt the need to solicit for more assistance in the provision of facilities in our orientation camps because some of the amenities in these camps have broken-down.”

Kazaure decried the poor state of facilities in the camps, calling on the NDDC to extend more assistance to the NYSC. He promised to put more corps members at the disposal of the Commission.

It would be recalled that the NDDC built a 44-chalet ultra-modern lodge for members of the NYSC serving in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. 

 

NDDC Charges Students to Join Campaign for Peace in Niger Delta

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,  has charged students and youths to join in campaigning for peace and security in the Niger Delta region.

Giving the advice on behalf of the Managing Director, Dr Nsima Ekere, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Executive Director Projects, Engr. (Dr) Samuel Adjogbe, urged Niger Delta students to promote peace and dialogue as the preferred options for driving development in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

He stated that promoting awareness campaigns within the Niger delta region remained a viable tool for development agencies that need peace and security to deliver on their mandates, adding that “as an interventionist agency, we require a peaceful environment to carry out our duties.”

 

Adjogbe said that students and youths of the Niger Delta region have a crucial role to play in enthroning peace. He declared: “We don’t want protests and agitations in the Niger Delta anymore. Dialogue is the way to go. We should be talking and negotiating, rather than chasing away investors.

 

“Insecurity increases investment costs and it is based on this that the NDDC is looking at achieving a Niger Delta where investors and expatriates are confident of establishing their businesses for the overall development of the region.”

He emphasised the need to support programmes that would help to foster peace in parts of the Niger Delta, noting that the NDDC was doing its best to enhance the education of youths of the region. As part of this effort, he said that the process for the selection of the 2018 NDDC Foreign Post Graduate Scholarship programme had started. 

Earlier, the National President, Niger Delta Students Union Government, Comrade Ifon Daniel Samuel, remarked that the students’ body was ready to execute programmes that would create strong educational consciousness in the Niger Delta region.

 

He said that the Students Union Government was already planning to host a summit on peace and security in the Niger Delta. He, therefore, appealed to the NDDC to assist the NDSUG in their forthcoming convention which would incorporate discussions on critical issues affecting the region.

NDDC Resumes Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship Programme for Niger Delta indigenes

 

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has approved the resumption of NDDC Post-Graduate Foreign scholarship to qualified indigenes of the Niger Delta region after a comprehensive restructuring of the programme.

This follows the approval by the Governing Board and Management for the commencement of the 2018 award process.

The Commission, while announcing the resumption of the scholarship scheme, conveys its regrets at the cancellation of the inconclusive 2017 award process, noting the inconveniences suffered by students who applied for the scholarship.

To provide a fresh start and a seamless process, all outstanding tuition for recipients of the scholarship has been cleared, as part of the restructuring instituted by Management, and calls for new applications from qualified candidates for the 2018 programme. (However, any student who has proof that he has not been paid should feel free to contact the Commission immediately).

Meanwhile, the advertisement for the new programme will be published in national media, as well as the Commission’s website.

Established in 2010, the NDDC post-graduate foreign scholarship is designed to produce top level professionals with technical manpower, capacity and expertise who would compete in the oil and gas industry and other sectors of the Niger Delta region.

Worth about $30,000 per annum, it is helping to build a knowledge-based economy that will meet the challenges of globalisation. It covers nine professional disciplines such as engineering, medical sciences, computer science technology, geosciences, environmental sciences, agriculture, environment/oil and gas law, as well as project management.

A total of 1,409 students have benefited from the programme, including Charles Igwe, whose unique redesign of the Turcot Interchange road, as a Ph.D student of Construction Engineering at Concordia University, Canada, helped save the Montreal Area Municipality over $1 billion, and Mr. Ubong Peters, who won a global three-minute thesis competition.

Our plan to transform education in Niger Delta – NDDC

*FG to launch Niger Delta Digital Learning Programme

*Laptop, Tabs factory proposed for region

The Federal Government in collaboration with the 9 Niger Delta states and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will launch a pilot of the Niger Delta Digital Learning programme this September.

The initiative will transform the education of primary and secondary school students in the region by replacing antiquated traditional teaching methods and textbooks with digital content delivered through tablet computers and mobile devices.

This will standardise the learning process, improve teacher’s productivity and increase student’s learning capacity. The programme will help the region to develop its human capacity in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to invest in human capital development as expressed in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

More details will be released in the coming days.

Towards a healthy Niger Delta: NDDC pledges N50m to fight malaria

The Niger Delta Development Corporation has inaugurated the Governing Board of the NDDC Professorial Chair on Malaria Elimination and Phyto-medicine Research at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Rivers State.

This was disclosed today by the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere.

The endowment fund, which is worth N50 million, will help reduce cases of malaria through strategic control, curtailing breeding, transmission, as well as help reduce cost of treatment.

The fund will be redeemed in two instalments of N25 million per annum for an initial period of two years. Ekere said the corporation has already released the first tranche of N25 million for the Malaria Chair Research Program.

He said, “Considering the prevalence of the malaria in tropical Africa and particularly the Niger Delta region, the importance of this research fund cannot be over emphasised. A healthy Niger Delta will help the NDDC in its mandate and determination to build a wealthy region.”

#NDNewVision: Maritime University commence Lectures

Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta  State, has today commenced full academic activities for the 2017/2018 session.
It would be recalled that the take-off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests of the region tabled before the Federal Government.
The commencement of lectures in the University is also a fulfillment of the Buhari administration’s commitment to developing the Niger Delta region through its New Vision for the region.