Barring last minute changes, 94 post-graduate students under the Niger Delta Development Commission foreign scholarship in the United Kingdom will today (Monday) begin another round of protest over the inability of the agency to pay their tuition.
The students, it was gathered, were likely to march to the Nigerian High Commission in London to express their displeasure over the inability of the commission to offset their fees.
The President, Niger Delta Students’ Union Government, Negba Goodness, said the development was a continuous embarrassment to the country.
Goodness called on the NDDC to pay up the fees in order to save the country from further international embarrassment.
He stated, “We are surprised that the NDDC has refused to pay the remaining 94 students on its scholarship even after verification. We knew that the verification was an excuse to escape the payment.
“Unfortunately, those scholars have decided to protest again at the High Commission in London from Monday (today). This is a continuous embarrassment to the nation and deceit to the collective sensibilities of all Niger Deltans, who know that the funds are there to settle these students.
“As a union, we will not watch our students being stranded because of deliberate efforts of individuals, whose greed have overshadowed their conscience. We will resist all attempts to sweep these issues under the carpet.”
Meanwhile, the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC said in a statement that it would pay the outstanding scholars’ claims within a week.
The statement signed by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, said the acting Executive Director Projects, NDDC, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, was in London on September 17, 2020, with relevant officers of the commission to carry out physical verification, monitoring and evaluation of legitimate students on the scholarship.
Having concluded the verification, which involved the registration of all scholars and the confirmation of their claims with the various universities, payment of the outstanding fees are to commence immediately,” the statement read in part.