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Jonathan Raises Panel on Scholarship for First Class Graduates

May 28, 2012

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday inaugurated  a Presidential Committee on Award of Post-graduate Scholarship to Nigerian First Class graduates.

He stated that the Federal Government would select the best products of the nation’s universities and train them in the world’s top 25 universities in order to build a pool of brains that would sustain the country’s transformation.

Jonathan said that beneficiaries of this scheme, which would start this year with 100 first class graduates of the nation’s universities, would be selected “purely on merit, not quota.”

Jonathan also decried a situation where about 60 per cent of the academic staff in Nigerian universities don’t have doctorates, describing this  as “quite embarrassing. That is not good enough.”

The President also announced that he would soon constitute an inter-ministerial committee, including academics, that would decide how to implement robust training anywhere in the world for young men and women who are interested in academics.

According to him, the new training and the transformation of the country  has become imperative “because wherever you go, the expectation is quite high on us as Nigerians because they believe Nigeria is a leading country in Africa. And for us to maintain that status, we must not depend on oil production because we have other countries that produce more oil than us.   We must not depend on population because when you have large population you cannot manage, it is even negative. For us to maintain that position as a leading African country and transform this country, we must do things differently. We are to have tools, critical human tools that are well educated. We must select our best brains and expose them properly so that they would form the first core of human tools that would lead to a sustainable transformation.”

On the modalities for implementing the award of post-graduate scholarship to first class graduates, Jonathan told members of the committee headed by the Executive Secretary of National University Commission, Prof Julius Okojie, that  “every year, we should tap from among our best brains. We are starting with 100 this year because we have not made adequate arrangement for funding. But the number will increase when we make budgetary allocation for it in 2013. We will select our best brains in the areas of science, engineering and some areas of economics and expose them to the best facilities available in the world.

“The Ministry of Education and this committee will have to travel to these universities to negotiate for positions in the top 25 universities in the world. The idea is that for you to benefit, you must have first class. It is based purely on merit, no quota. We are giving opportunity for first class brains. We are going to spend money. So, we need to tap a little of what they get, so in the first five years, they should work as lecturers or researchers.   This idea is for our best brains to form the core of human tools that would drive the sustainable transition for this country.”

Culled from TheGuardian of Monday 28th May 2012

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ken permalink
    June 4, 2012 09:16

    Very good development, but, just pray it will be purely on merit. Keep it up Mr president

  2. ibeh henry permalink
    July 3, 2012 11:32

    how can i get enrolled in this programme

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