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Niger Delta

NDDC Clears N2bn Foreign Scholarship Debt – MD

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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it has paid over N2 billion to settle outstanding stipends and fees owed to students under its Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship Programme.
The commission said the programme had awarded scholarship to thousands of indigent Niger Delta graduates to study in universities abroad since its launch in 2010.
NDDC’s Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa said this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the commission’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, at the weekend.
Brambaifa was quoted to having made the statement when he visited candidates writing the commission’s scholarship computer-based tests at the Rivers State University (RSU) ICT Centre in Port Harcourt.
“We are here at the RSU ICT Centre as part of our on-the-spot assessment of the scholarship process.
“NDDC have made payment (N2 billion) for NDDC scholars following the resolution of issues with the Central Bank of Nigeria which delayed remittance of the funds to the universities.
“The scholarship programme equips graduates of Niger Delta origin with relevant training, skills and capacity building for improved education standard in the region,” Brambaifa said.
He said of the 5,000 candidates that applied for the programme that 3,112 candidates had been selected to take part in the 2019 exercise.
The managing director said he had recently led a NDDC delegation on a five-day working visit to some universities in the United Kingdom as part of commitment to the scholarship programme.
“The visit afforded the NDDC team an opportunity to deepen the existing relationships with the foreign universities and take advantage of other mutually beneficial programmes,” he added.
Consultant to the NDDC scholarship programme, Mr Godson Ideozu said the commission adopted the computer-based test to boost transparency of the exercise.
He said that candidates seeking for scholarships in Masters’ and Doctorate degrees courses were examined primarily in their core area of study.
“The exercise is fair and gives applicants equal opportunity to compete. Also, candidates get to see their scores immediately after writing the examination,” he said.
NDDC Assistant Director, Education, Health and Social Services, Mrs Seledi Wakama said the scheme was part of NDDC’s human resources development initiatives.
She said no fewer than 200 successful candidates who passed both the aptitude and oral test would bag their scholarships.

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Niger Delta

Persons With Disabilities Call For Rehabilitation Centres

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People living with Disabilities in the Niger Delta have called on both the federal and state governments in the region to set up rehabilitation centres that will cater for their needs.
The Public Relations Officer, people living with disabilities, Niger Delta Development Commission, Comrade Collins Akpanab, who said this in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt decried their continuous neglect in the society. Comrade Akpanah, who is also the Rivers State chairman of the National Association of the Blind, said the creation of special centres will help most persons with disabilities to acquire the necessary skills that will help them to contribute positively to the development of the society.
According to him, the proposal, implemented will end the culture of begging among them, adding that non of their members who acquired the necessary skills will go back to the streets to beg for alms.
Akpanah also called on state governments in the region to appoint persons with disabilities into positions of trust in their various states.
He specifically stressed the need for them to be appointed as commissioners and special advisers in their respective states.
Akpanah also assured that his members will continue to remain peaceful and law abidding.
He also used the occasion to debunk rumours of crisis in the association in Rivers State.

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Niger Delta

PH Residents Task Ministers On Speedy Policy Implementation

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Some residents of Port Harcourt yesterday urged the in/coming ministers of the Federal Executive Council to ensure speedy implementation of policies to positively affect Nigerians.
Mr Roosevelt Jack, a Public Affairs analyst, told newsmen in Port Harcourt that Nigerians were eager to see improvement in their lives.
Jack urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the in-coming ministers to consolidate on the newly established cordial relationship with the National Assembly to fast track development.
“I expect the Executive to consolidate on the cordial relationship it presently has with the National Assembly for the overall benefit of Nigerians.
“This is time to speed up the implementation of policies and programmes to put the country on the right part of development,” he said.
Mr Nicholas Ikiriko, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said that there was need for the federal government to improve healthcare.
Ikiriko advocated for mechanised agriculture to create avenues of making food very cheap for the poor.
“We want to see a health delivery system in which free primary healthcare will be taken to the poor and establishment of medical centres of excellence in the geo-political zones.
“This is important because only healthy people can live and sustain a viable economy,” he said.
Mr Christopher Fibresima, a businessman said security of lives and properties and reform in the judiciary sector for the betterment of all should be taken seriously.
Fibresima said the diversification of the economy should target job creation and youth empowerment.
A trader, Mrs Ngozi Weli urged the government to take power generation and rural electrification seriously to encourage small and medium scale business.
Weli also advised the federal government to pay attention to education to wipe out illiteracy in the country.

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Niger Delta

Cleric Urges FG To Address Insecurity

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Renowned Cleric and Minister in-charge of Assemblies of God, Nigeria, Nvwigwe- Woji, in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Rev. Goddy Stewart, has urged the federal government to address Nigeria’s security challenges, infrastructure deficit and policy inconsistencies.
Speaking with The Tide, yesterday in an interview in Port Harcourt, Stewart said those were the root causes of unemployment in the country, and demanded an urgent step to curb the situation for peace, unity and stability to thrive uninterrupted.
He stated that to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty was possible, but that leaders across the nation should adopt the right policies and focus more on people- oriented development programmes than on the political class, while also shuning partisan politics in the mainstream of governance.
According to him, If you actually want to lift people out of poverty, do not give them money. Rather, empower them with jobs. The only way to create jobs is to be productive and you cannot be productive without power supply and good roads’’.
Rev. Stewart said the government in the country should adopt a structure that would allow each constituency unit to adopt its peculiarities without compromising national interest. He urged the government to invest more in building the education and knowledge capacity of citizens and demonetise politics towards attracting credible people with national interests into governance space.

 

Bethel Toby

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