AT last, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has paid $5,901,000 to 197 scholarship beneficiaries of 2019, while payment procedures for 94 beneficiaries of 2018 were ongoing.
Director of Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Mr. Charles Odili, in response to Vanguard inquiry, on Monday, said among the 197 beneficiaries were 12 PHD – 2016 and 13 PHD – 2019, totaling 43, who got $30,000 each, amounting to $1,290,000.
He said 154 MSC beneficiaries of 2019 were paid $30,000 each, amounting to $4, 420,000, bringing the grand total to $5,910,000.
Odili said gave the description of 94 beneficiaries of 2018 still awaiting payment as 40 PHD and 54 MSC.
Meanwhile, a group, Niger Delta Enterprise Initiative, NDEI, yesterday, applauded the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Expanded Interim Management Committee, EIMC, NDDC, for clearing $5.9 m bills for 197 scholarship students, including 12 PHDs, while processing 94 others.
President of the group, Mr. George Kerley in a statement, said: “At a time when almost no Niger Delta State is engaged in Oversea Scholarship Programs, I commend NDDC for continuing to provide this badly needed investment in human and knowledge capital.”
“Our prayers is that these scholars will add value to the region as the years go by. NDDC should also make effort to see that fees and allowances are paid on a timely basis. A lot could go wrong when scholars are shortchanged in foreign lands.
We call on Governors of Niger Delta states to re-commence overseas scholarship programs and improve the quality of State owned universities. Kudos again to the Honorable Minister for the Niger Delta and EIMC,’ the group said.