Nigerian students on federal scholarship abroad are being owed N2.4 billion.
This is coming from the Director of Scholarship at the Federal Scholarship Board (FSB), Fatima Ahmad. She made it known while briefing senators on Wednesday, 1st November, 2017 in Abuja.
The Nigerian Senate had on Wednesday, October 25, resolved to summon various agencies of government responsible for scholarship to Nigerian students to meet with the senate president.
Ahmad said the outstanding money for scholarships are yet to be settled by the board due to inadequate fund and lack of budgetary provisions.
EduCeleb.com had on October 27 reported that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) announced the immediate suspension of its scholarship programme. This is also not unrelated that the reason adduced by Ahmad.
Senate President calls for scholarship policies review
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in response had asked representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to do a review of scholarship policies and submit a report with which the Senate committees would make recommendations on how to clear the backlogs through appropriation.
While lamenting the current situation of Nigerian students abroad, Saraki recounted his experience when he visited Russia.
“As some of you may know, I was in Russia last month to participate at the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and I heard first-hand the plight of our students for whom the expected scholarship funding has dried up. The overwhelming feeling on the part of these students is one of abandonment by their motherland,” Mr Saraki was quoted as saying.
“This feeling of abandonment is one that we must move quickly to dissipate, by working urgently to alleviate the difficulties faced by these students. We must look for ways to reestablish the pipelines and remove the bottlenecks, so that our students who went abroad with the promise and assurance of scholarship funding, will get their stipends as and when due.”
He lamented that several brilliant Nigerian students on federal scholarships are languishing abroad due to the inability of the Federal Government to pay its counterpart funding of the scholarships awarded under bilateral agreements with foreign governments
He was further quoted as saying: “Under the Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) entered into by Nigeria and several foreign governments, some of the host countries have the responsibility for part of the upkeep of Nigerian students – while Nigeria must necessarily fulfill her own part.”