THE Niger Delta Development Commission has conducted computer-based tests for 2,835 candidates out of the over 4,000 that applied for its Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship Scheme for 2018.
Addressing journalists on Monday at the Rivers State University, ICT Centre, where the tests were conducted, the Director, Education, Health and Social Services of the NDDC, Mr. Goshua Okejoto, said the choice of electronic examination was to enable the Commission to shortlist the right candidates for the scholarship scheme.
Okejoto said the scheme, which was introduced in 2010, was meant to equip graduates of Niger-Delta origin with the relevant training and skills for effective participation in the local content programme of the Federal Government.
He explained that only candidates, who had completed the mandatory one-year national youth service and secured admission into foreign universities, were eligible to participate in the selection process.
He said, “The process is very transparent as the candidates see their scores immediately after the test. That is the beauty of the computer-based test.
Stressing that the scholarship programme was designed to encourage excellence and debunk the myth that the Niger Delta was the bedrock of militancy, he added, “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.”
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.
“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 new programmes had been added to the scholarship scheme to help universities in the Niger Delta to engage high calibre staff.
Also, in his remarks, the consultant for the scholarship programme, Mr. Godson Ideozu, stressed that computer-based examination encouraged 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.
Our correspondent gathered that after the aptitude test, 1,500 candidates will be selected for oral interview. Out of this, about 200 candidates will emerge as the beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme.