The 2018 and 2019 Scholarship beneficiaries of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, on Monday, 20/07/2020, assembled at the Nigerian High Commission, London, to cry out to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari over the non-payment of their tuition fee by the NDDC.
Odogwublog reports that the scholars asked President Buhari to speedily effect the payment, because they stand the risk of eviction from their institutions and subsequent deportation, as their institutions had already threatened to stop their scholarship programmes.
A letter jointly sent by the scholars to President Buhari reads in part:
“Your Excellency, we have continually been harassed by series of letters from our institutions threatening to withdraw their service. Some students have not been very lucky as the responsibility for the payment of their tuition has been transferred to them with strict timelines and conditions.
“For over ten (10) months, scholars have been subjected to all kinds of dehumanising challenges now compounded by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Scholars now struggle to feed themselves, pay for accommodation and bills. Since the pandemic and subsequent global lockdown, the part-time jobs that many engaged in for survival have all been lost.”
“We are now losing focus and depressed due to the fear of being evicted from our schools and subsequent deportation.”
“Your Excellency, Mr President Sir, it is important to add that while the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) ensures that their scholars’ tuition and upkeep are paid as at when due, NDDC has abandoned its scholars bringing the name of our dear country to great disrepute and dishonour before our schools.”
They asked President Buhari to order the management of NDDC to “respond to emails from our respective schools as they at the verge of terminating the admission of most students and are beginning to question the authenticity of our certificate of award.”
“Effect the payment of our tuition and upkeep allowances as soon as possible and ensure that the Central Bank of Nigeria implement the same foreign exchange rate applicable to the recent 2019 awardees as there exist a discrepancy on our NDDC Scholarship Online Portal with no tangible reason given.
“Ensure that all 2018 and 2019 awardees are paid at the same time and not in Batches”.