The federal government has commenced the nomination process for the 2024/2025 Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) interview.
The minister of education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, noted that the nomination process was for the most qualified Nigerians to compete globally with candidates from other Commonwealth Countries.
Mamman, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Andrew Adejo at the opening ceremony of the programme in Abuja on Monday, November 20, said the award which is being managed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, London remains one of the most prestigious Scholarship schemes for international studies.
The minister urged the applicants to be focused on the winning criteria and be disciplined in the course of the exercise.
About 2,000 applicants applied through the Electronic Application System (EAS) in Nigeria with slots for 51 persons in the categories of Masters and Doctorate degrees respectively.
The minister said: “Your applications and submissions would be graded based on academic, quality of study plan and likely development impact on completion of the study.
“It is therefore imperative to further inform you that the Commonwealth Scholarship nomination criteria give high priority to applications that present the strongest relevance to national development.
“In this wise, I want to encourage you all to be disciplined and focused during the interview exercise to enable you to qualify for nomination.”
He emphasised that the interview was keenly contested, due to the limited awards, adding that part of the ratings for the awards was concluded during the completion of the Electronic Application System forms.
He said: “Similarly, the panelists here today were carefully selected from a group of experts and Professors in the relevant fields of study and have been assigned to authenticate a correlation between your interview scores and that of the Electronic Application System (EAS), which is expected to be significant.”
According to him, the scholarship award which is managed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, London remained one of the most prestigious Scholarship schemes for international studies, stressing that since its inception in 1959, more than 30,000 individuals have benefited from the awards and contributed to national development in their various countries.
The minister added: “Majority of the awardees from Nigeria have returned to make significant contributions to the development of the nation, particularly in our tertiary institutions.
“The Commonwealth Alumni in Nigeria have been instrumental in making laudable contributions to governance over time.
“This, of course, is in line with one of the key objectives of the scheme and that is to ensure that the returnee scholars make an impact in their various disciplines for the betterment of the country.”
The Director of Federal Scholarship Board, Asta Ndajiwo urged the applicants to adhere to the criteria for qualitative nomination.
She advised: “I wish to use this opportunity to urge our erudite and credible Panelists to continue to adhere to the set criteria of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) with a view to presenting the usual high-quality candidates for the Minister’s endorsement.”
Ndajiwo said the award covered the awardees and their spouses, urging the applicants to be disciplined and focused during the exercise.