Students currently studying abroad under the auspices of the Niger Delta Development Commission have received renewed hope, following an order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Minister of the Commission, Sen Godswill Akpabio, to move swiftly and fulfill the Commission’s financial responsibility to the scholars.
The students, who recently staged a protest at the Nigeria High Commission Office in London, lamented their plight to news media, narrating how they’ve had to take up menial jobs to survive, having been abandoned by the Commission which have grossly defaulted on it’s financial duty to the scholars.
According to a statement issued by NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, on Tuesday, going by the Commission’s finance protocol, only the Executive Director of Finance and the Executive Director of Projects could sign for the release of funds from the Commission’s domiciliary accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, making it a difficult task to remit the funds to the students.
“With the death of Chief Etang, the remittance has to await the appointment of a new EDFA. Senator Akpabio, the Honourable Minister, 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.
“We expect a new EDFA to be appointed this week. As soon as that is done, they would all be paid” Mr Odili said.
In a very swift and timely intervention, Mr President has now ordered the Minister to cut through the red tapes and bureaucratic processes and release the earmarked funds for the students’ scholarships.