Presidential scholarship not discriminatory, NUC boss says

Julius Okojie, the head of the NUC, says 100 of the best Nigerian students will be sent to the best 25 universities in the world for further studies

The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Monday clarified the current state of the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for innovation and development, saying 449 candidates met the criteria for selection.

Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary of the NUC, made the statement in Abuja when he visited Chams centre where the candidates wrote the Presidential Special Scholarship Aptitude Test.

Mr. Okojie however explained that not all the 449 eligible candidates will get the scholarships.

“Of the 449 candidates who are writing the test this year, we are only going to take 100 students from the best of the best,” he said while explaining that the test would be held annually.

The NUC boss further stated that “only those candidates who are graduates of the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 academic sessions that qualify for this particular selection.”

Mr. Okojie described as false, the allegations that the scheme was biased against some segments of the country, saying that only candidates who graduated with a first class, from a recognized Nigerian University, and applied for the scheme, were shortlisted.

“That is why the membership of the committee of the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme comprises professors who made First Class from the six geopolitical zones; so that there is nothing like marginalization,” he said.

He explained that through the scholarship scheme, the “Federal Government has plans to develop a critical mass of professionals, who will serve as catalysts of change and agents of scientific and technological advancement.”

The final 100 Students will be sent to the best 25 universities in the world and are expected to “work for the system as the next generation of academics for five years after which the Federal Government would allow them to be on their own,’’ Mr. Okojie said.


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