The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Mlland Dixon Dikio (rtd), has promised that all exceptional students of Bayelsa Medical University will be empowered by PAP to further their studies in line with the comparative advantage of the Niger Delta region. Speaking at the weekend in Yenagoa when he led delegates of PAP to tour the facilities in the University, Dikio also disclosed that the selection process for the PAP’s scholarship scheme must be based on merit. He explained that the beneficiaries of the scheme must compete for placements in the best universities, describing scholarship as a privilege and not a right. The amnesty boss said the tour was designed to assess the capacity of the institution to train some beneficiaries of PAP as health professionals.

He said that part of the objectives of such training was to bridge the manpower gap in the health sector of the Niger Delta. He said: “We are here today as part of our partnership and strategic linkages with institutions of learning across the country and beyond, to meet with the vice-chancellor and his team at the Bayelsa Medical University to assess the institution’s capacity and capabilities to train some of our beneficiaries as medical professionals. “Indeed, we are determined to train some of our beneficiaries in this sector, who are capable of being employed in careers in the di-verse field of medical science to bridge the manpower gap in the region.”

Speaking to some of the beneficiaries of the scheme in the school, he advised them to strive for excellence in their chosen careers, and to aim for extraordinary successes instead of settling for ordinary achievements in their professions. “I would like you to have a better understanding of scholarship. Scholarship is a privilege and one to be optimally used. Scholarship priority will be given to beneficiaries in courses with comparative advantage to the region.” In his welcome address, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu, the vice Chancellor of the University thanked the PAP helmsman for the visit and assured him of the institution’s readiness to provide its students with modern medical knowledge and skills to give them an edge over other graduates in the labour market.

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