- After a protest by the stranded Nigerian students on NDDC scholarship, President Buhari has intervened
- NDDC's director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, said the president has told Niger Delta affairs minister, Akpabio, to find all means to pay the students
- Odili explained that the delay in the payment of the students was caused by the sudden death of the director who was supposed to approve the release of funds
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President Muhammadu Buhari has intervened in the unfortunate situation of the stranded Nigerian students who are on the scholarship scheme of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
A report by The Nation states that the president has ordered the payment of fees and stipends of the students who are studying outside the shores of the country.
The newspaper reports that this was revealed in a statement signed by the NDDC's director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili.
Legit.ng gathers that Odili said President Buhari conveyed the directive to the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, following the protest of the students.
Odili said the students would be paid by the end of the week.
He explained that the delay in the payment of the stipends was caused by the sudden death of Ibanga Etang, the then acting executive director, Finance and Administration, of the commission in May.
According to him, NDDC's finance protocol only allows the Executive Director (Finance) and the Executive Director (Projects) to sign for the release of funds from the commission’s domiciliary accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Odili explained that with the death of Chief Etang, the remittance has to await the appointment of a new executive director of finance and administration
He, however, said Senator Akpabio said President Buhari who has been briefed on the protest by students at the Nigerian High Commission in London, has ordered that all stops be pulled to pay the students by the end of this week.
He also said the commission expects the appointment of a new executive director of finance and administration this wee,
"As soon as that is done, they would all be paid,” Odili said.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the federal government said it has set the wheel on the move by taking the necessary action following a distress call that Nigerian students in the United Kingdom are being forced to eat expired foods.
A social media user, Sadiq Cyrus, had called the attention of Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), to the development.
In a tweet on Thursday morning, July 16, Sadiq said the Nigerian students, who are in the UK on the NDDC scholarship, were being left with no other option than eating expired food.
Similarly, he also raised an alarm that the students are also forced to work in "Covid-19 hotspots" to survive, demanding that the issue should be looked into.
"Our students on NDDC scholarships in the Uk are eating expired food and forced to work in COVID hotspots to survive. Please use your handle and influence to make NDDC do the right thing. Thank you," Sadiq said.
Responding to the tweet, the NIDCOM chairman said her commission "has taken this (the issue) up."
She also added that Akpabio has been formally written.
Dabiri-Erewa said Akapbio gave assurance to institute a probe, further adding that NIDCOM will do follow up on the development.
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