The selection process for the Foreign Scholarship Scheme of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commenced
with the conduct of a computer-based aptitude test for 3,000 graduates drawn from the 9 Niger Delta states. The computer
test, which was held on May 11 and 12, 2015, took place at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, ICT
Giving details of the foreign scholarship scheme, the NDDC deputy Director of Education, Health and Social Services, Dr.
Solomon Ita, said that 4,000 candidates applied online out of which 3,000 were invited for the aptitude test. He
explained that about 2,000 successful candidates would be invited for oral interview where the final selection would be
Dr. Ita said that the NDDC scholarship scheme, which started 4 years ago, had so far sponsored 1,021 graduates for
Masters and Doctorate degrees in Engineering and Sciences, including Medicine, in the best universities across the world.
"We have ensured that the selection process is as transparent as possible to give all qualified candidates a fair chance
From the online application to the computer test, the candidates are given the opportunity to be part of the
process. At the end of the computer test, each candidate sees his or her result before signing out,” Dr. Ita said.
He said that emphasis was placed on science disciplines because of a noticeable deficiency in this area in the oil
industry, which made it difficult to employ young graduates from the region in that critical sector. "You know we have a
lot of gaps in our oil and gas sector, and that is what we desire in the Niger Delta region."
According to him, before now, the oil and gas industry had discriminated against fresh graduates from the region for not
possessing the requisite qualifications. "We also need to encourage our youths to show interest in engineering for the
sake of our projects. We need qualified engineers that can manage our projects just as in agriculture, environmental
science and other science related courses," he said.
A representative of the NDDC’s consultant on the scholarship scheme, Mr. Nnamdi Munonye, said that there was no room for
cheating in the computer-based aptitude test. "The electronic test is fool proof and nobody can change your score since
your picture and details are in the system, after writing the examination your score is shown immediately".
One of the candidates, Miss Ataman Kabiamaowei, confirmed that the computer test was fair and transparent.