BY UJU AZUKAEGO/AUSTIN OYIBODE
DELTA State Government has awarded scholarship to 518 indigenous students who are studying in different universities across the country to the tune of N73.9m.
The awardees include 367 undergraduate students, 106 Masters and 45 doctorate degrees students in the range of N100,000, N200,000 and N300,000 per awardee.
The presentation which was made at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba had all members of the State Executive Council present including the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei and Rt. Hon. Basil Ganagana.
Speaking at the ceremony, the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, said the award was in recognition of his administration’s commitment to promoting education which is in line with the human capital development agenda of his administration.
He said that Delta was a state blessed with enormous resources, especially human resources, adding that it was a big challenging harnessing the human resources to develop the state.
The governor emphasised that scholarship should not be by lobbying, but through hard work, and said that the government was pleased that so far, the board had not been involved in any scandal.
He explained that while bursary was for all students of the state origin in various higher institutions of learning, scholarship was for the lucky ones that had attained the required grade in their studies.
The governor, however, said that in 2011 N645 million was released for bursary, adding that the state would continue to assist Ph.d students to ensure hassle free studies.
The Governor, in company of the state executive council, explained that the scheme was not put in place for political reasons, but to demonstrate government’s passion and understanding that man is the ultimate resource in the development process.
Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Hope Eghagha, said the regular scholarship award was introduced to instill discipline and create a culture of competition for excellence among Delta students.
He also said the award was a show of government’s determination to provide financial assistance to Delta students who are studying in Nigerian universities and contribute to the development and upliftment of education in the state.
Prof. Eghagha however, said that the provision of qualitative education is the responsibility of all, hence he called on all Deltans to join hands with government to build and transform education in the state.
Chairman of the state scholarship board, Rev. Buchi Aninye, described the award as a gesture which is aimed at increasing the education standard of the state.
He charged beneficiaries to make good use of the award and be good ambassadors of the state in any university in the country.
It would be recalled that Delta State Government had promised giving N5m award to any first class student of Delta State origin to pursue higher degrees any where in the world.