Succour came the way of protesting Niger Delta students on scholarship who had taken to London street to register their grievances as President, Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to pay its scholarship beneficiaries studying abroad.
The cheering news was contained in a statement titled ‘NDDC invites President Buhari to Commission Signature Project’ and signed by the NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, on Tuesday.
Odili, while informing that said scholars, currently facing hardships abroad because of the non-remittance of their fees and stipends, would be paid by the end of the week. said Buhari conveyed the directive to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
He attributing the delay to sudden death of Chief Ibanga Etang, the then Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, EDFA, of the Commission in May, whom he claimed had the sole responsibility of effecting such a payment.
The statement, said: “Under the Commission’s finance protocol, only the Executive Director (Finance) and the Executive Director (Projects) can sign for the release of funds from the Commission’s domiciliary accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“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.”
The protest, which held in London, and was posted on the protesting scholars’ Twitter handle, @2019Nddc, saw the student complaining that they risked being deported from the United Kingdom where they are schooling, apart from being turned beggars, due to the stoppage of payment of their tuition and upkeep allowances.