The interim management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has assured the beneficiaries of its Foreign Post Graduate Scholarship programme in the United Kingdom that their outstanding claims will be paid within a week.
A statement signed by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, said the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, was in London on September 17, with relevant officers of the commission to carry out physical verification, monitoring and evaluation of legitimate students on the scholarship programme.
Odili said: “Having concluded the verification exercise, which involved the registration of all scholars and the confirmation of their claims with the various universities, payment of the outstanding fees were to commence immediately.
“Unfortunately, some unforeseen circumstances, including the upheavals that followed the EndSARS protests by youths, constituted stumbling blocks for the speedy implementation of the payment plan.
“Before the protests, which slowed down activities, the NDDC Interim Management Committee, IMC, had released $5,910,000 million through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to offset all the verified outstanding foreign scholarship obligations, despite the non-passage of NDDC 2020 budget by the National Assembly.
“Obviously, the CBN was not immune to the sad realities bedeviling the nation in the past few weeks. However, the bank has promised to treat the case of the scholarship beneficiaries with utmost dispatch.
“We appeal for understanding and patience from the students. We urge them not to allow themselves to be used as tools by those sponsoring devious campaigns to discredit the IMC through protests at the Nigerian Embassy in London.
“We reaffirm our commitment to the Post Graduate Scholarship Scheme, which is part of our efforts to develop professional manpower to help in the transformation of the Niger Delta region”.