How INDG rolled out multi million Naira scholarship, empowerment scheme for Ijaw nation

How INDG rolled out multi million Naira scholarship, empowerment scheme for Ijaw nation 

As part of its vision to positively impact future generation of Niger Deltans particularly the Ijaw ethnic nationality through investment in formal education and skill developments, the Ijaw Nation Development Group aka Ijaw People Assembly (IPA), at a colourful ceremony held on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, rolled out multi-million Naira scholarship and empowerment scheme to youths of Ijaw nation across the country.

The group awarded various sums to fourteen (14) undergraduates and fourteen (14) artisans who were the pioneer beneficiaries of its scholarship and empowerment scheme. The empowerment scope covers; catering, pipeline welding, bakery, fashion design, snail farming, make-up and computer, among others.

The beneficiaries were drawn from Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states.

How INDG rolled out multi million Naira scholarship, empowerment scheme for Ijaw nation 

Speaking at the event, INDG President, Benjamin Nanaghan, said that the gesture was a deliberate attempt geared towards actualizing the group’s objectives of which includes but not limited to developing Ijaw people, noting that human capital and economic development were critical to the advancement of any society.

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In his words, “The driving force of today’s scholarship and artisan training programme is our unshakable commitment and conviction that this little seed we are planting today will tomorrow grow into a gigantic oak that will provide not only shade and shelter but sustenance and good prosperous life for not only these individual recipients but for the entire Ijaw nation.

“We combed the nooks and crannies of Ijawland to select our awardees through a very rigorous and thorough process. Our major aim is to ensure that both poor and intellectually endowed were not schemed out of relevance.

Nanaghan therefore urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the scholarship and skills acquisition training for their personal growth and development of Ijaw nation and Nigeria as a whole.

He also expressed hope that the scholarship would spur the beneficiaries to greater heights of excellence and educational attainments, adding that they would be properly monitored to assess their performance. He appealed to kind-hearted and well-positioned Ijaw sons and daughters to assist the INDG in its efforts to sustain the programme in the interest of Ijaw nation.

On his part, the Convener and chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of INDG, Dennis Banigo, said the organisation had carried out several activities, including donation of relief materials to flood victims and communities across the Niger Delta since inception in 2017.

While observing that the government alone can no longer shoulder the development of the area, he called on other development partners and public-spirited organizations to support the group in achieving its goals.

The chairman of the programme organising committee, Prof. Prosper Ayawei, explained that the undergraduate scholarship and artisanal training were pilot schemes embarked upon by the group.

The undergraduate beneficiaries includes: Beinmote Victory from Bayelsa; Ayawei Priscilla Pereere from Bayelsa; Progress Perekebina Itala from Delta; Odigrima Kemepiya from Delta State; Sincomoh Tamarau Preye from Delta state; Williams Believe from Edo; Botosan Ebi Goodnews from Edo; Fujioh Ebiepe Sandra Edo; Lamene Great Above Perezi from Edo state; Princess V. Hornby from Rivers; Dappa Peculiar Favour from Rivers state and John Osinachi Benjamin from Ndoki, Akwa-Ibom state.

Similarly, the artisans that benefited from the award include; Kei Ikokou from Bayelsa; Doreen Bolouebi Bioko from Bayelsa state; Miss Oga Minalahw from Bayelsa state; Funware Clinton from Delta state; Christian Okpomi from Delta stsre; Victor Yinlayefa from Delta state; Tiemon Dengiri Emma from Edo state; Iyoromieye Seigha Bisina from Delta state; Mrs. Jide Mercy Nana from Delta state; Markilolo Bekearau from Ondo state; Miss Eugenia Banigo from Rivers state; Anga Kalaiyo from Rivers state; Timothy Doubts Ibitroko Rivers, and Bekwe Gift Williams from Ndoki.

Highlights of the event includes the bestow of award to no fewer than 12 eminent personalities of Ijaw extraction with the Ijaw Patriots Award for their immeasurable contributions to the development of the Ijaw nation.

Among the recipients were former President Goodluck Jonathan; Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Federal University, Akure, Godknows Igali; Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major General Barry Ndiomu; first Military Governor of Old Rivers State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff; President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba.

Others are the chairman of Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo; former presidential adviser and co-ordinator of the PAP, Kingsley Kuku; foremost female Ijaw activist, Ann-Kio Briggs; former Managing Director of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside; and the co-ordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), Joseph Evah.

Beneficiaries of the INDG good gesture who spoke with GbaramatuVoice expressed gratitude to the group. They prayed that God will bless and elevate them in their various fields of endeavour.

It would be recalled that INDG/IPA was established in 2018 as a non-profit making and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by its founding Convener, Mr. Dennis Banigo. The group has metamorphosed fully into a development group for which it was established.

By Chairman Ojumiri & Ebitebe Uroju

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