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NDDC Post Graduate Scholarship Sparks Row in A'ibom


NDDC Post Graduate Scholarship Sparks Row in A'ibom

THE award of post-graduate scholarship to eligible candidates of the oil and gas producing states of Nigeria, by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), an interventionist agency, has sparked off a hot row in the Akwa Ibom State axis of Southern Nigeria.

The list which is already public knowledge, shows that Akwa Ibom has eight successful recipients, compared to Imo State (163), Rivers State (147), Delta State (146) and Edo State (130), among others.

Akwa Ibom people in the Diaspora on the platform of Ibom Peoples Congress in the US, are not happy that their state is with the lowest number of recipients from the NDDC’s 2012 award.

Interim President of the group, Dr. Tom Mbeke-Ekanem, and his Secretary, Ndudu Imeh Inyang, in an e-mail to AkanimoReports on Friday, said such a scenario will only reinforce the general treatment of Akwa Ibom when it comes to the sharing of the national cake.

''For example, we are yet to find an Akwa Ibom indigene who owns any of the oil blocks distributed among Nigerians, despite Akwa Ibom being one of the states responsible for “laying the golden egg.” We have tried to understand why this situation could happen in modern day Nigeria, but could not find a justifiable reason.

''We have observed that, incidentally, the State with the largest number of NNDC’s 2012 scholarship awardees (Imo State) has a population that is only 0.37% larger than Akwa Ibom State (3,934,899 vs. 3,920,208). If we further interpret the number of awardees based on population, we realize that 2 out of every one million

''Akwa Ibom citizens are recipients of the 2012 scholarship, compared against 41 for Imo State, 40 for Edo State, or 36 each for Bayelsa and Delta States. Without pointing out the various ways that one can interpret this blatant injustice, the fact remains that, clearly the figure for Akwa Ibom State is an error; either typographical, or an error in judgment from those responsible for awarding this scholarship

''We would like to give the NDDC the benefit of doubt and assume that the number of recipients from Akwa Ibom State is a typographical error, and that the actual number of awardees from Akwa Ibom State is at a level comparable to the other states. If indeed the number is a true reflection of the state of affairs, then we urge the NDDC, with the strongest of terms, to revise the number of awardees from Akwa Ibom''.

Continuing, they said, by awarding more scholarships and thereafter publishing a revised list.

''We would like to believe that this gross oversight will be corrected as there is no logical, fair or equitable explanation that can be advanced to explain why only eight Akwa Ibom indigenes received the scholarship; even a low turnout of Akwa Ibom applicants should have required some further action to ensure fairness and equity in the number of final awardees. We believe that the NDDC will do the right thing''.ENDS


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