By Sixtus Uket (Calabar)
Seventy undergraduates drawn from Nigeria and Ghana have been awarded 4-year scholarships by the Association of Brotherhood Academic Scholarship (ABAS).
The awardees, comprising 66 Nigerians and four Ghanaians, were selected after scaling through an examination conducted by ABAS on June 24, 2023 in Calabar, Cross River State capital.
Our reporter gathered that no fewer than 550 Nigerian youths and non-nationals participated physically and virtually in the examination.
The chairman of the scholarship committee, Prof. Emem Anyankop, who was appointed by the Spiritual Leader of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star (BCS), His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, said the scholarship is worth N4,290,000.
Prof Ayankop, who is also a lecturer at the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, explained that each of the beneficiaries has already received N70,000 and N60,000 for the first year of the scholarship while the four Ghanaians have received N100,000 each.
In a statement about the conduct and result of the examination made available to journalists in Calabar, the international Chairman of ABAS, Hon. Ekuma Ngwu said, “550 candidates registered on line while 300 were physically present in Calabar to take the examination.
“The invigilators and markers comprised very responsible and uncompromising academics and executives of the ABAS International.
“There were 60 objective based exam questions in all and these were set from four areas: English, Mathematics, World current affairs and religious affairs.
“The exam lasted for one and a half hours. To ensure that there was transparency during the exam and at the point of marking scripts, candidates were instructed not to write their names on the answer scripts, except their exam numbers. Thus, the scripts were all blind marked.
“To curb exam malpractices, the questions were of four different types – Type A, B, C and D. In each of these, the order in which the subject areas appeared were different. In addition, candidates were well spaced and were not allowed to use their phones during the exams.
“The exam was marked over 75: a mark was scored for each correct answer in English, Maths and world current affairs while BCS affairs had two marks per correct question. 38 was picked as the cut off mark,” Ekuma stated.
The International Chairman of ABAS further said they had consideration for candidates who came from distant States to Calabar, capital of Cross River State.
According to him, 53 candidates met the cut off mark and thus were selected on merit.
Ekuma also explained that only the four lucky Ghanaians got N400,000 because of peculiarities while there are other categories, including those seen to be indigent who also got different sums. The exercise was a key highlight to mark the 44th anniversary of ABAS.
Ekuma disclosed that His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, who sponsored the scheme, has guaranteed the four year scholarships.
ABAS is the academic arm of BCS, established to champion educational enhancements of youths irrespective of religious inclinations.