Abuja - Three candidates, who won the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) Awards last year, could not make it to study abroad, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr MacJohn Nwaobiala, has said.
Nwaobiala, who spoke on Monday night in Abuja at the opening of the ``2012/2013 CSFP Awards’’ blamed the inability of the three candidates to study abroad on ``avoidable reasons’’.
Nwaobiala was represented by the Director, Federal Scholarship Board, Mrs Hindatu Abdullahi.
According to him, one of the candidates declined the award at the point of travel, while one award was withdrawn by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) for not meeting the English Language Proficiency as required by the university.
The third award, he said, was withdrawn by the CSC because the scholar was rejected by two institutions and the third placement did not materialise.
He said 16 candidates out of the 1,500 that competed for 32 slots given to Nigeria were finally selected by the CSFP to study abroad and three of that number lost the slots on ``avoidable grounds’’.
``It is sad that candidates who went through these tedious screening could afford to lose the awards on these avoidable grounds.
``It is imperative, therefore, to advise candidates to be disciplined and focused during the exercise to qualify for nomination for the CSFP awards tenable in Commonwealth countries,’’ Nwaobiala said.
In her remarks, The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, urged the Federal Scholarship Board to ``embark on a tracking system’’ for the beneficiaries of all of its awards since inception.
Rufa’i also urged the board to publish an impact assessment report on the beneficiaries.
The minister, who was represented by Nwaobiala, said the report would enable the ministry to request for more funding from the government to better the lot of many ``brilliant and indigent youths’’.
She commended the objectives of the Commonwealth in promoting equal opportunity, gender equity and cultural exchange.
Rufa’i promised the speedy release of results for the 2013 nominations.
She thanked the panellists and other resource persons for accepting to participate in the exercise and urged them to display a high sense of maturity.