House of Representatives has threatened to halt the presidential scholarship scheme slated for this year should the body fail to apply the spirit of fairness in its award of scholarship.
The House Committee on Education stated this yesterday at a stakeholders meeting with the executive secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, and the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwabiala.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that last year, the committee had expressed displeasure on the lopsided nature of the scheme and requested the body to make available to the committee the comprehensive list of applicants that applied for the programme; list of board members and minutes of their meetings.
But the body never furnished the committee with such details.
At the meeting yesterday, the co-coordinator of the scheme, Prof. Okojie maintained that the information the committee requested had been made available.
Okojie insisted that the presidential scholarship scheme was not skewed to favour one geo-political zone.
He explained that every year, all the students who made first class in their degree exams sit for the test, adding that the first 100 people were selected irrespective of the zone they come from.
Okojie said the programme had taken off successfully nationwide, stressing that they were studying it to see how they could further improve on it and possibly enlarge the number.
The NUC executive secretary hinted that initially, the scheme started with 25 universities, today it had been expanded to 100 universities.
He averred that he never said there were some states without first class materials.
Okojie pointed that this year alone, they had shortlisted 900 people they needed only 100.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Suleiman Aminu said it was amazing and disturbing that the body had neglected some parts of the country believing that they cannot produce first class graduates.
Aminu alleged that last year, there was a deliberate attempt by the Ministry of Education to set the National Assembly against the parents of the beneficiaries.
He said the belief of the committee was that somebody somewhere sat and drew up the list.
Consequently, Aminu said the programme must be halted until the committee is furnished with the comprehensive list of those who applied and selected, as well as method of selection.
The chairman further threatened that if the body went ahead with the programme for 2015, it would not hesitate to truncate it.

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