The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Mlland Dixon Dikio (rtd), has insisted that the selection process for the PAP’s scholarship scheme must be based on merit.
Dikio spoke when he led delegates of PAP to tour the facilities in the Bayelsa State Medical University (BSMU) in Yenagoa.
He explained that the beneficiaries of the scheme must compete for placements in the best universities, describing scholarship as a privilege and not a right.
While addressing the management of the university, the amnesty boss said the tour was designed to assess the capacity of the institution to train some beneficiaries of PAP as health professionals.
He said part of the objectives of such training was to bridge the manpower gap in the health sector of the Niger Delta.
Dikio said: “We are here today as part of our partnership and strategic linkages with institutions of learning across the country and beyond, to meet with the vice-chancellor and his team at the Bayelsa Medical University to assess the institution’s capacity and capabilities to train some of our beneficiaries as medical professionals.
“Indeed, we are determined to train some of our beneficiaries in this sector who are capable of being employed in careers in the diverse field of medical science to bridge the manpower gap in the region.”
Dikio, who later spoke to some of the beneficiaries of the scheme in the school advised youths in the Niger Delta region to strive for excellence in their chosen careers.
He advised the students to aim for extraordinary successes instead of settling for ordinary achievements in their professions.
He asked them to correct their perceptions of PAP’s scholarship scheme reiterating that the programme was not an entitlement but a privilege.
“I would like you to have a better understanding of scholarship. Scholarship is a privileged and one to be optimally used. Scholarship priority will be given to beneficiaries in courses with comparative advantage to the region”, he said.
He thanked the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ebitimitula Nicholas Etebu, for his excellent work in the institution.
He promised that exceptional students would be empowered by PAP to further their studies in line with the comparative advantage of the Niger Delta.
In his welcome address, Etebu, thanked the PAP helmsman for the visit and assured him of the institution’s readiness to provide its students with modern medical knowledge and skills to give them an edge over other graduates in the labour market.
One of the students of the university and beneficiaries of PAP’s scholarship, Fawei Isabra, commended Dikio for the opportunity to become part of the scheme.