The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has vowed to pay the fees and stipends of the stranded students who are studying in foreign universities by the end of this week as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall, the instruction from the President came after the students who are sponsored by the NDDC with scholarships to study in foreign universities protested at the Nigeria High Commission office in London on Monday, August 3, 2020, for the delay of their stipends and payment of fees.
The scholars stated that they have been abandoned by the government and left to survive in foreign countries without receiving allowances that were meant to be paid by the commission. They also revealed that the commission had failed to pay their tuition fees which resulted in the ejection and caution to terminate their scholarship programmes.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, the NDDC spokesperson, Charles Odili said the delay of the payments of the student’s fees was caused by the sudden death of the NDDC’s acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Ibanga Etang, in May.
“Under the Commissions’ finance protocol, only the Executive Director (Finance) and the Executive Director (Projects) can sign for the release of the funds from the Commission’s domiciliary accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. With the death of Chief Etang, the remittance has to await the appointment of a new EDFA,” he said.
However, the commission’s spokesperson confirmed that the students will be paid immediately after Etang’s replacement is appointed this week.