The Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa has appealed to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to pay the allowances, tuition fees and other incentives of students on its scholarship schemes in United Kingdom.
Dabiri-Erewa in a statement signed by the spokesperson of NIDCOM, Mr. Gabriel Odu, said the students had turned beggars following the non-payment of their tuition and allowances by the NDDC.
She appealed to the NDDC management to as a matter of urgency, release the funds appropriated for the scholarship programme of these students.
The NiDCOM boss made reference to a letter she wrote to the Minister of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, dated June 18, 2020, drawing attention to the plight of the students, and urging the NDDC to pay them.
“The commission counts on the minister’s assurances that all outstanding payments to affected students will be made. At the moment, there have been persistent calls by the students for urgent intervention.
“The deadline for payment of the fees of some of the students have expired or about to expire, non-payment of their allowances have turned many of them to virtually beggars,” she said.
KanyiDaily recalls that during the recent National Assembly probe of the NDDC, it was revealed that Nigerian students awarded scholarships to some universities in the United Kingdom, have been abandoned by the commission as they have not received a dime in allowance or school fees from the commission.
Many of the students who came out to complain, said the commission has refused to respond to all emails sent to them appealing for their fees to be paid or allowances released.
Some of the affected students had complained that they had been suspended by their schools for non-payment of tuition and other fees.
In October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC’s activities from 2001 to 2019, saying he doesn’t know where all the money invested in the commission had gone.
But the IMC set up to manage the commission for the time being and supervise the audit, had come under serious allegations bordering on mismanagement of funds.