As shared by an awardee on Nigeria’s popular forum, Nairaland.
As one of the awardees of the prestigious PTDF scholarship, I felt welcomed and proud to be standing tall amongst some of Nigeria’s brightest minds during the three day (15th-17th July, 2016) induction ceremony held at the PTDF towers in Abuja. However, as the induction ceremony drew to a close, many of the local scholarship awardees(LSS Scholars) including me, noticed a dichotomy in the ways affairs of the LSS and OSS (Overseas scholarship) schemes were been handled.
While we were waved goodbyes after the induction ceremony, preparation and travel plans were being made for our fellow scholars to be flown abroad. Many of us understood the urgency in trying to finalize travel plans for the foreign scholars – as school resumption was due in September,2016. However, some of the LSS scholars too were in similar predicament – as it was mandatory for LSS applicants to be student or admitted into any of a few selected schools across the nation at the time of application (October, 2015), so during the time of induction many of the local awardees were close to the completion of their graduate studies in some of the nation’s most prestigious Universities in Nigeria.
It is sad to state that while many of the LSS scholars brandish award letters from PTDF, some have had their results ceased by their institutions pending when PTDF pays their tuition. Whereas, most of the OSS scholars have had their fees (tuition and living expenses) paid in part or in full as far back as November, 2016, despite the outrageously high Forex rate. Meanwhile, Students schooling in Nigeria can only hold on to a Pseudo-Believe that “one day PTDF will pay”.
We want to use this medium to urge those in charge to overcome whatever bureaucratic bottlenecks that has hindered the processing of funds for the local scholars for months and to bring to the attention of well meaning Nigerians the challenges we face. Otherwise, this scholarship may tread the pathetic path of neglect similar scholarships and youth empowerment programs have witnessed in past. The Presidential scholarship (PRESSID 2015) and Youwin Batch 3 are notable examples.
Hence, we need no more delay in the payment of our funds.
Concerned LSS Awardee