The Prof. Nelson Braimbraifa-led management team of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, embarked on a monitoring and evaluation visit to partner Universities in the United Kingdom to ascertain the level of support been derived from the universities and strengthen areas of weaknesses to ensure effective and productive partnership.
According to the commission, this is part of efforts geared towards providing the much needed educational development to the people of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking to newsmen at the International wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, shortly after arriving Nigeria on Sunday, the Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, NDDC, Dr. Chris Amadi, said the management team of the NDDC embarked on a monitoring and evaluation visit to its partner universities abroad to resolve some lingering issues with the management of the universities.
Also, the visit was to deepen already existing mutually beneficial relationship, as well as create more areas of partnership for the good of the Niger Delta students.
In a statement on Monday by the Special Assistant on Communications to the A.g EDFA, NDDC, Priestley Nna, Mr Amadi said: “NDDC runs numerous scholarship programs for indigent students of the Niger Delta region. This program has been running for over 12 years and for the first time, the management of the Commission engaged partner Universities at the highest level to ascertain the extent of support been derived from these institutions.
“The visit became expedient because we realized upon assumption of office that most of our partner Universities have not been paid and we were getting reports from our students. So we felt It was not just enough paying the outstanding debts but to also resolve relationship issues and deepen the existing relationship to benefit us mutually.”
The Ag. EDFA, also revealed that the focus of the new board of the commission was to consolidate on the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari towards improving the fortunes of the people of the Niger Delta region by investing massively on education.
“We are very particular about a knowledge driven economy, we are particular about the focus of President Buhari in diversifying the economy of the region to better the lives of our people”, he said.
The Executive Director further hinted that the NDDC has secured more landmark agreements in areas of support with foreign universities for students of the Niger Delta region who are on scholarship.
“By the second week of next month, the management of Coventry University will arrive Nigeria to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with us. We have reached some landmark agreement in areas of support for Niger Delta students.
“We also have commitment from the University to grant additional scholarship to be funded by the University, to our students who excel at first class level. We will soon work out the details of that scholarship.
“We have secured an agreement to allow our students access the e-library system of Coventry University. This will also allow researchers in our region access materials online through the e-library scheme of the University. Plans are equally underway to set up a Doctoral Research Centre in the Niger Delta to enable them sign up linkage programs with willing Universities in the region.
In the same vein, Huddersfield University is partnering with us for a Master’s Degree scholarship program for young University graduates of the Niger Delta region.”