BY TONY NYONG
UYO – The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Wednesday, denied media reports which claimed that Akwa Ibom State had only eight of her applicants shortlisted for the Commission’s post-graduate scholarship.
Mr. Imaobong Inyang, Commissioner representing the State on the board of the NDDC in a media parley with newsmen in Uyo, said against what the distorted publication conveyed, 99 Akwa Ibom indigenes were shortlisted for the Masters degree category and 53 for the PhD, making a total 152 candidates.
Inyang, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, noted that although the publication which conveyed the offensive and distorted figures was done in error by a staff of the consulting firm engaged by the Commission to handle the exercise, it was not only hasty, but lacked neither the sanction of the Board, nor that of the Management of the Commission.
He said: “Whereas it was posted on the official website of the Commission we accept responsibility, but permit me to say that the distorted information had since been taken off our website. Also in the last Board meeting held two weeks ago, a resolution was taken to expand the list to accommodate more candidates and this is being done.”
The commissioner said that for the 2012/2013 academic year, 200 slots of the post-graduate scholarship are available to be shared to the nine States in the region, and the the commission has an error-proof modality for selecting successive beneficiaries of its scholarship programmes and the same modality which is competitive and transparent would be applied in the final selection process.
He added that the commission has an institutionalized policy of distributing benefits to the nine Niger Delta States on an unquestionable quota basis, as determined by the volume of oil each state produces, and that the policy will be applied in the eventual allotment of the post-graduate scholarship slots.