Reps accuse Science Minister of bias in scholarship selection



The House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology has accused the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, of bias in the selection of beneficiaries of the annual best science student award given to best science students in the country. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Beni Lar (PDP, Plateau) and some members of the committee had disagreed with the minister during the 2021 budget defense yesterday.


A member of the committee, Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante, had argued that the award was shrouded in secrecy and the awardeeds were not selected with due regard for the federal character principle.


The minister, who was asked why the Science and Technology sector of the nation’s economy had not really got the needed push to enhance socio-economic development, said that the ministry he supervised do organised annual awards for best science students who were deserving of such awards across the states of the federation.


He further said that the best three students were usually chosen in the final selection of the awards and the best of the recipients usually gets scholarships up to doctorate degree level in a university from the president of Nigeria.


He explained to the committee that every one of the 774 local government councils in Nigeria do provide the organisers of the award the selected best three science students out of which one overall candidate emerges.


But the lawmakers said that the award was skewed in favour of a particular section of the country and demanded that the minister provided the list of all the 36 states of the federation, which students had benefited from it.




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