Funding crunch to limit top UK universities places

If you’re a student from a developing country, such as several in Asia, Africa, Latin America, or the Middle East, you may be qualified for a number of foreign scholarships designed to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of the student body at universities around the world. Many scholarships for students from developing nations will have additional requirements, such as ties to a particular university, a particular area of study, or a certain country of origin or destination.

WACT is one such scholarship. WACT is the biggest container terminal outside of Lagos and is situated in the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne Port, Rivers State. WACT stands for West Africa Container Terminal. 50 undergraduate students from the Rivers State villages of Onne and Ogu have received scholarships from WACT totalling N30 million.

The WACT Managing Director, Mr. Naved Zafar, spoke at the scholarship presentation ceremony in Onne on Wednesday. He congratulated the recipients and advised them to put their all into their studies.

He said, “Congratulations to the awardees. Your success today is not yours alone as it is the fruit of the sacrifices made by your parents, the support of your family and the guidance of your teachers. You are a great pride not only to us but to the nation. We at WACT are proud to have some former beneficiaries of our scholarship scheme in our organisation today. Through hard work and diligence, they are well regarded in their respective fields.”

According to Mr. Zafar, WACT has changed how it chooses the recipients of its yearly tertiary scholarship awards this year. According to him, the new strategy was adopted to represent WACT’s goal of upholding inclusivity, openness, and visibility for all in its interactions with the host communities.

“This is just the beginning of a plan to further develop our youths to be self-reliant in fields that are highly relevant in our rapidly changing digital world,” he said.

He praised the host villages for their cooperation and gave them the assurance of a long-lasting friendly relationship.

Prof. Henry C. Amadi, who attended the scholarship award ceremony in Prof. Nlerum Sunday Okogbue’s stead, praised the management of WACT for its dedication to fostering leadership development and educational advancement among young people in the host communities. Prof. Nlerum Sunday Okogbue is the vice chancellor of Rivers State University. He urged the recipients to use the scholarships wisely to launch fulfilling careers for themselves.

Former Nigerian ambassador to France, Ambassador Spiff Taribo-Amgbara, also spoke at the occasion and urged the recipients to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop into strong leaders who will help alter society.

Godbless Nkpornwi Ezekiel, one of the scholarship recipients, stated: “The prevailing circumstances in Nigeria make it very challenging for my parents alone to cater for the educational needs of my siblings and I. So for me, this is a personal blessing I don’t take for granted. To fellow WACT scholars, pursue education, as the values are endless; to the leadership of WACT, you are transforming lives where it matters most. Thank you for making this opportunity available.”

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, leaders of the host communities, youth leaders, and academics were among the guests at the scholarship presentation ceremony.

APM Terminals is the owner and operator of WACT. The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) concept was used to construct Nigeria’s first Greenfield container terminal, which began commercial operation in 2006. In Onne Port, Rivers State, the terminal is situated inside the Oil and Gas Free Zone. It has developed over time to become the most effective entryway to markets outside the Lagos region.

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