Leadership (Abuja)

5 February 2013

Nigeria: Bayelsa Spends N3.1 Billion On 137 PhD Scholars, Others

As part of efforts to empower the people of Bayelsa State, the state government has boosted education by awarding scholarship to the tune of over N3.1 billion to 789 awardees to study in 20 countries around the world.

Governor of the state, Hon Henry Seriake-Dickson, disclosed this while speaking in an interactive session with reporters in Abuja yesterday.

The governor, who is celebrating his first year in office, said that he was propelled to give the citizens the needed exposure and skills to cope in the developing society. According to him, 137 PhD scholars, 260 Masters candidates, 142 undergraduates and 250 secondary school secondary school pupils are among the list of Bayelsans studying in Nigeria and different institutions across the world.

This amount, he stated, was only for the 2012-2013 tranch.

The former lawmaker also revealed that his administration is putting structures in place to make the environment conducive for learning in the state, among which is 400 primary schools, a teacher's quarters to take care of accommodation problems in far reaching areas, and a teacher training institute to train the teachers in the State.

A document presented to LEADERSHIP shows that out of the 137 PhD scholarship awardees for the year 2012- 2013, 34 people were in the United Kingdom, 65 in Nigeria and 38 others scattered across the globe.

For the Masters Programme, out of a total 260 scholars, 132 awardees were in the United Kingdom, 40 in Nigeria, 88 others scattered across the world, in addition to inherited undergraduates from the former Bayelsa administrations whose studies are ongoing in Malaysia, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

"We are doing this to prepare our people with skill and exposure that they need to deal in an evolving society. Governments need to invest more in education and human capacity building....Bayelsa State is investing billions of naira into development of education and it is a good investment, I don't regret it at all. When i came in last year, I promised to put in N1billion into development of Education. We have since overshot that figure but I don't regret it at all".

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