The Oyo State government has disclosed that over 100 candidates from the state would benefit in the first tranche of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority Scholarship for 100 level students in Nigerian universities.
The Executive Assistant (Administration) to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, made this known in Ibadan at the venue of the Computer-Based Test organised for applicants of the scholarship.
“As directed by His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, we have successfully selected some of the indigenes and indigent students in 100-level studying in Nigerian universities. His Excellency felt we need to pick the best and let the process be fair to give all the various students in 100-level the opportunity to come and put their intelligence to bear.
“At the end of the day, we will recommend the best to the organiser of the scholarship, which is going to be conducted by Total, an international organisation. So, we felt we should put our best foot forward in nominating the best students, who are indigenes and indigents in Oyo State.”
Rev. Ogedengbe explained that the governor had insisted on opening up the selection process for all residents of the state to ensure indigent students who were academically sound could qualify for the scholarship rather than making the selection through political recommendation or other considerations.
While noting that the CBT would assess candidates on Mathematics, English, Aptitude and Critical Thinking to give all applicants equal leverage, Ogedengbe noted that the scholarship was not from the Oyo State Scholarship Board, but that it followed a request to Governor Makinde by the chairman of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority, to nominate candidates for the scholarship.
“We are also doing this irrespective of the disciplines the students are into and whatever courses they are studying. That is why we made sure that the kind of questions we are giving to them are the ones that cut across all disciplines; Mathematics, English. We are also looking at Aptitude Test.
“It is a fair process and we think it would bring up the best from among us and, at the end of the day. According to the expectation of His Excellency, we will nominate the best students from Oyo State.”
Speaking on the prospect of the scholarship programme, Ogedengbe stated that “The prospect is high because it is actually organised by a Joint Development Authority that manages the offshore site of Nigeria with some other countries.
“So, they would have put in some money for this purpose and we are quite confident that whosoever is selected will enjoy the benefits. But it has to be competitive, because we want to ensure that it is the best qualified that will get the opportunity.
“This programme is in tranches. The first tranche is 100 and after that, we will still have another opportunity. Apart from nominating the students for the Sao-Tome programme, it is to also throw up our very good students.
“We want to comb the whole of Oyo State to see some of our students that are very brilliant and intelligent. But probably because they are from a not-well-to-do family, some of them are even threatened and on the verge of probably leaving the school. When we see such students coming for an engagement and interview like this, we would be able to find an opportunity for them so that their intelligence is not wasted.”
The governor’s aide reiterated the commitment of the Governor Makinde administration in raising the bar of empowerment and human capital development, adding that the current Nigeria-Sao Tome international scholarship is being midwifed by the Oyo State Human Capital Development Office.