|70 Rivers State scholars leave for Canada|
The Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) sent another batch of 70 beneficiaries of the Rivers State Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme, on May 4, 2009, to Canada, to commence studies. In his short briefing with the academic beneficiaries before their departure, the Executive Director of the Agency, Mr. Bolaji Ogunseye, congratulated them for their outstanding academic performance on the basis of which they had been selected from among the thousands of other applicants for the scholarship. He stated that he was confident they would “get the Golden Fleece, come back to Nigeria, and contribute positively to society.”
Mr. Ogunseye commended Gov. Chibuike Amaechi for investing in human capital development, and reminded the prospective students that the Governor could well have expended the resources on alternative projects. He pointed out to them that the Governor’s preference to rather invest in the educational well-being of Rivers people should be reciprocated by the students as they must shun “negative tendencies” and become “ambassadors of the State while in Canada.”
Some of the parents of the academic ambassadors could not restrain themselves from expressing sincere gratitude to the Governor Amaechi-led administration for the initiative, which had provided the students, mostly from poor homes, the rare opportunity to study abroad.
Earlier this year, 100 beneficiaries had been sent to study Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Singapore. The purpose of the three-year ICT programme is to enhance the human capital base of Rivers State. On that occasion, over 4,000 applications had been received and screened by H.T Maguire, the facilitating consultancy. Though 600 applicants were considered eligible, after the training by the Singaporean experts, only 200 were successful. Passports and travel documents for the 200 were compiled by RSSDA and sent to the Singaporean embassy. Of that number, the embassy selected 100 who have since left.
Before their departure, Mr Godwin Poi, General Manager Programmes, had congratulated the beneficiaries and commended them for working hard to ensure that they came out successful during the selection process. He had also advised them to be worthy ICT professional assets after the three-year programme, performing no less than their counterparts in other parts of the world.