The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says it has awarded 92 scholarships for Masters and Doctorate degrees in relevant areas of ICT and ICT Law for the 2017/18 Scholarship Year.
The scholarship scheme was established in 2010 with the aim of bridging the digital divide through human capital development with emphasis on creating and supporting a knowledge-based economy.
NITDA explained that this year’s scheme has been expanded to cover diverse areas including LLM in ICT Law which in the agency’s efforts at assessing and addressing ICT skills requirements to support government’s sustainable economic growth and development strides through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) .
In view of this the Director Human Resource and Administration Department of NITDA Dr Mohammed Idris Yelwa, said “We are encouraged by President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustainable human capital development for economic recovery and growth as well as the exemplary leadership of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami in ensuring that scheme is sustained and entitlements of NITDEF scholars are paid regularly, despite the challenges of recession.”
According to Dr Yelwa, this academic year, a total of 5,504 candidates applied out of which 2,188 sat for the computer-based aptitude test.
Dr Yelwa also disclosed that each scholar studying abroad receives an average package of 17.5 million naira per annum comprising tuition fees, personal allowance to cover accommodation, living expenses and other allowances while in-country scholars receive an average of 3.5 million naira and about 752.5 million naira is spent annually on the scheme.
From inception of the scheme to date, the Agency has sponsored 341 Nigerian Graduates in various ICT fields at Masters Level and 42 for Doctorate Level at Universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany and Australia.
A number of beneficiaries of the Scheme are now in full employment while others have set up viable IT business ventures which provides employment opportunities as well as developing globally competitive products and services, which is turn contributing to the Nigerian economy.