The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is reviewing its scholarship scheme which the commission suspended in order to conduct a forensic audit of its activities.
The NDDC foreign scholarship programme has been blighted by reports of Nigerian students stranded abroad because of non-release of funds for the programme.
The commission said henceforth it would rather prefer to sponsor people to universities in Nigeria, instead of sending them abroad.
“We cannot be sending people to study accountancy or law in foreign universities; rather we can send someone to read forensic law as a specialty that is not so available in Nigeria.
“We will plunge those monies in our universities in the Niger Delta to develop them and affiliate them with foreign universities,” Udengs Eradiri, a special assistant to the NDDC managing director, Effiong Akwa, said on Thursday at an event organised to commemorate the World Youth Day in Calabar, Cross River State.
He said NDDC would rather invest the money in universities in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, the gesture is to develop tertiary institutions in the nation and affiliate them with their foreign counterparts to make them centres of excellence to train thousands of Nigerians.
“On skills acquisition, NDDC is looking at the areas where we have comparative advantage as a nation to build the capacity of the youths. These areas include agriculture, the creative industry and manufacturing,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police in Cross River, Aminu Alhassan, in his remark, said many youths from good homes went into drugs and cultism “out of curiosity and bad association”.
Mr Alhassan urged youths to draw close to God and stay away from drugs and cultism because it was easy to become an addict, but difficult to be rehabilitated.
A parent, Enwongo-Abasi Okon, called on parents to put their feet down in ensuring that they knew about the activities of their children.
“It is easier to convince the children when they are still in the secondary schools than when they get into universities. Parents should stop covering up their children who engage in social vices.
“I think some mothers are trying, but fathers should step up and be available as guides to their children, especially their sons.
“Their job is not just to be tyrants at home without understanding the body language and changes in their children,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the NDDC used the occasion to reward 20 students in Cross River with electronic devices to enhance their education.