National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has given explanations over the cancellation of the 2016/2017 NITDEF Scholarship selection process.
Director General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Pantami, explained in a press statement issued by the Agency and endorsed by Mrs Hadiza Umar, the head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations that the decision was necessitated by the serious budget deficit experienced in the Agency’s 2016 budget year which the scheme was appropriated for but no money was released to fund it.
According to the Statement, the Agency has made the appropriation for the scheme in its 2017 budget year; consequently, a new selection process will be announced soon.
“Management urged all affected to participate in the 2017/2018 NITDEF selection process, also assures all 2016 candidates of not having to go through the regular registration and short listing processes.
“While regretting any inconveniences this may have caused the applicants, the Agency assures all candidates of justice, fairness and equity base on competitive merit.
“It is worthy of note that this is not the first time the Agency was not able to conclude the NITDEF scholarship process, the same happened in the Year 2012”, the statement reads.
“It will not be possible to move the item of 2016 to 2017 automatically without budget appropriation, since it has expired by signing a new budget. The only possibility is to validate them as part of 2017;
“Up till now, nobody has been given an award. However, all the stages they have completed will not be repeated, but other stages must be completed. Like interview with test questions included, verification, signing of bond;
“Subject to availability of fund, NITDA is planning to increase the number of candidates since the scholarship is going to be locally; and
“We plan to accommodate them in 2017, subject to completing the processes as designed by the Agency,” the statement concludes.
By Tony Nwakaegho