“Majority of the award recipients from Nigeria have returned to make significant contributions to the development of the nation, particularly in our tertiary institutions.
“This of course, is in line with the overall objective of the scheme which is to ensure that the returnee scholars make meaningful impact in their various disciplines,’’ he said.
Echono added that the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom invited Nigeria’s Federal Scholarship Board to nominate qualified candidates for the Commonwealth Scholarships in the United Kingdom.
He said also that the grading score would be based on academic merit, quality of research proposals and their positive impacts on society.
He added that the essence was to alert candidates to be disciplined and focused during the exercise.
According to him, the award will be keenly contested since there are limited spaces.
Part of the rating for the award, he said, was concluded during the completion of the Electronic Application System (EAS) forms.
He said successful nominees would be competing with candidates from countries of the Commonwealth.
Nigeria’s success rate, he added, would be a barometer for measuring the diligence and thoroughness that was put in by experts assembled for the exercise.
Echono commended the States Scholarship Boards and the Federal Scholarship Board Zonal Offices for giving adequate publicity to the series of advertorials displayed for the nomination.
In her address, Mrs Asta Ndajiwo, Director, Federal Scholarship Board, noted that the highly-competitive scholarship award has a very limited number compared to the large number of applications received yearly.
“This year, almost 2,000 applied through the EAS. The CSFP is highly prestigious as the award covers the successful candidates and their spouses.
“Only PhD candidates were interviewed in 2020 because of COVID-19, but this year, both Masters and PhD programmes are made open.
“The FSB is noted for presentation of scholars of excellence which earns Nigeria more slots in the years past and the FSB intends to keep it up.
“I wish to use this opportunity to urge our erudite and credible panel members to continue to adhere to the set criteria of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission with a view to presenting the usual high quality candidates,’’ she said.