Abandoned! Students on NDDC foreign scholarship cry out over neglect
A group of Nigerian students under the Niger Delta Development Commission (2015) Foreign postgraduate scheme, have cried out that they have been abandoned by the government.
The students who are schooling in the United States, Canada, Russia, France and several other countries complained that the government has reneged on the financial support offered to students on the scheme..
The students told The PUNCH that some scholars have rounded up their Master’s programme without any payment from the NDDC, while others were paid once during the 3-year programme.
“We have been abandoned for a minimum of 12 months (19 for some scholars),” a representative of the group, Ejike Nwafor wrote in an email to our correspondent.
“The Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere and his finance team headed by Mr. Mene Derek has been playing politics with the entire situation. It has been one lies or the other. People have had to borrow to sustain themselves, hoping our sponsors will act responsibly to no avail.
“No explanation whatsoever has been given; when you call the office, you get pre-programmed answers like ‘We are on it.’”
The students said that instead of settling the 2015 backlogs, the commission is bringing new candidates into the scheme.
“They have 2016 scholars and interviews have just been concluded for 2017 scholars, we do not believe the money hasn’t been allotted for this purpose. We want Nigerians to know what we are going through,” the students said.
When contacted, the Director, Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Mr. Ibitoye Abosede said the issue has been around for a while. He explained that the task of reaching some of the students with the funds became complicated after some of them did not proceed to their schools of choice on time, while others changed from the original schools.
“When some of the students were awarded scholarship, they didn’t go immediately, when some of them eventually went, they went to another school entirely, so it became difficult for us to track,” Corporate Affairs Director told The PUNCH Correspondent on phone.
He, however, gave the assurance that the commission is working on the matter.
See some of the correspondence shared by the students below.