By Davies Iheamnachor
The Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, has explained that its new policy mandated all ex-agitators desiring to benefit from its scholarship scheme to first take the examination organised by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
Amnesty office said the new policy was designed to eliminate mediocrity in the programme, adding that the scheme was aimed at transforming ex-agitators into well-educated entrepreneurs and employable citizens.
PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, disclosed in a statement in Port Harcourt signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, that the policy was vital for the personal, intellectual and mental growth and development of the delegates.
Dikio explained that PAP was targeted at ensuring that beneficiaries of PAP scholarship were able to compete for placement in the best universities and become major players in the knowledge-based world.
He said: “To this end, the PAP came up with a new policy mandating every prospective scholarship candidate to take the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination as one of the criteria to qualify for PAP scholarship.
“What is the Amnesty deal? Does it equate mediocrity? Our universities are turning out an army of unskilled unemployable adults into a labour market bursting at the seams.
“Even worse, evidence abounds that 80% of the current recipients of PAP scholarship are not ex-agitators. This is a major anomaly that must be corrected.
“We have designed our deployment process to ensure that 70% of delegates for scholarship must be ex-agitators whose names are in our database, 20% will be from Niger Delta impacted communities and 10% will be discretionary. Thus, those who cannot go to the university will be given vocational training.”
However, Dikio said that the intention of the PAP was to align to best practices for university admission, give scholarships to persons with high potential to graduate, eliminate favouritism and scholarship rackets.