By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government says over 30, 000 persons have so far benefitted from the Commonwealth scholarship scheme since its inception in 1959.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while flagging off the 2021/2022 Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (SCFP) nomination interview.
He said applications for the scholarship would be graded on academic merit, quality of research proposal and development impact on completion of the study as PhD candidates.
Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, said the Commonwealth selection criteria give high priority to applicants that demonstrate the strongest relevance to national development.
According to the minister, the majority of the award holders from Nigeria have returned to make significant contributions to the development of the nation, mostly in the tertiary institutions.
“To this end, the Commission’s mandatory regulation for scholars is to acquire the requisite knowledge as well as skills, and return to their respective home countries at the end of the award period to make meaningful impact in their various fields of study to achieve multiplier effect.
“It is in the realization of this objective, that the CSC adopted a scholarship policy aimed at ensuring greater and equitable access to higher education by a greater number of qualified citizens of the Commonwealth member nations,” Adamu posited.
Also, speaking, the director, Federal Scholarship Board, Hajiya Ndajiwo Hammanjoda, said the awards are very limited in number this year as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
Her words: “This year, approximately three hundred and fifty (350) candidates applied through the Electronic Application System (EAS).
“The value of the award per awardee depends on the field of specialization and it is adjudged to be sufficient, with provision to spouses if indicated, thus makes the award scheme the most competitive and prestigious in the world.
“It is important to note that the grading score of applicants this year is based on Academic Merit, Quality of Research Proposal and Development Impact on completion of the study…
“Last year, 4,424 candidates applied through the Electronics Application System (EAS). Nigeria received a total of 24 awards, due to the high quality of candidates presented.”