The good name brought by a Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) PhD scholar in far away Canada is said to have boosted the determination and resolve of the intervention agency to continue its postgraduate scholarship scheme. The Commission has therefore flagged off the second year of its support for the ‘Moot Court & Mock Trials System’ aimed at boosting court competence of future legal practitioners in the oil region. It is also to boost educational development in the region.
The Commission mentioned several feats topped by the feat of one Charles Igwe (PhD scholarship student) who made waves in Canada by saving whopping sum of $1Bn in the $3.67Bn Turcot Road interchange project.
Disclosing the motivation in the education sector, the managing director of NDDC, Obong Nsima Ekere, stated at the Moot Court & Mock Trial competition at the Rivers State University (formerly University of Science & Technology, UST), the Commission would continue to support education and build infrastructure. “This is why, in this institution, you will find that the best hostel was built by the Commission as one of the 18 NDDC hostel projects in universities across the Niger Delta region.’
Ekere, who was represented by the Director of Special Duties, Princewill Ekanim, said: “Beside infrastructure, we have sponsored over 1411 postgraduate students to different foreign universities in nine skill areas, including oil and gas law, plus another 200 just to join.”
Mentioning other feats in the area of education support, the NDDC boss stated thus: “The latest batch would join other outstanding scholars such as Ubong Peters, a Ph.D student who won the three-minute thesis competition in Australia, and Augustine Osarogiagbon of Memorial University who completed his PhD in less than the stipulated time and was offered a dual PhD with two graduate assistants to work with. There is Charles Igwe, who, while studying in Construction Engineering at Concordia University in Canada, saved the Montreal Area Municipality over $1Bn by redesigning the TURCOT interchange road construction project costing $3.67Bn.”
He said the Commission was also investing in e-learning because it is the future of education. “Our partnership with the government of Sao Tome and Principe is designed to channel their excess internet capacity to the Niger Delta so that our people can enjoy the robust benefits and help build the new generation we are helping to facilitate.”
In his opening remarks, the dean, faculty of law, RSU, Prof O.V.C Okene, represented by Dr Linus Nwauzi, said: “There is great need to foster partnership between multinational corporations and the universities as the only way to develop education and prepare students for professional life. That is the way to go. The presence of NDDC in this faculty will bring more development and progress, thus enhancing development in the oil region. There is need to formulate a policy framework in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for multinational corporations. Multinational corporations must be given minimum responsibility that is clear. They must take up projects such as this one. The time when they said charity was not part of boards of enterprises is over because part of sustainability in enterprise is CSR, thus, charity is now part of the board.”