Stranded NDDC Students Maintain Contemporary Protest At Nigerian Embassy In UK
Nigerians college students sponsored overseas for additional research by the Niger Delta Improvement Fee (NDDC) are holding a protest in entrance of the Nigerian Excessive Fee in London over the non-release of funds for his or her scholarship.
The protesting college students, about 25 of them, signify a number of college students on Batch 2018 of the NDDC international scholarship programme who’re but to obtain cash for his or her tuition, regardless of the claims by the NDDC that it has just lately launched over $5.9 million (about N2.28 billion) for the programme.
The scholars gathered round 9 am in entrance of the Excessive Fee, with placards.
The scholars, of their assertion to PREMIUM TIMES a number of days in the past, mentioned the NDDC administration intentionally excluded them from the newest cost for the scholarship programme.
“The NDDC selectively handpicked these it paid with none outlined standards and is refusing to pay charges, grants, and maintenance of 2018 students for no justifiable motive in any respect,” the scholars mentioned within the assertion.
“This got here as a impolite shock to us as a result of traditionally, the NDDC had all the time paid the charges and maintenance of students within the order through which they had been incurred, that’s, from the earliest to the newest.”
The scholars mentioned their exclusion could have been to punish them for protesting in opposition to the delay within the launch of funds for the scholarship.
The NDDC administration mentioned, with out substantiating it, that the scholars had been “hirelings masquerading because the Fee’s students”.
An announcement by the NDDC spokesperson, Charles Odili mentioned the scholars had been a part of “highly effective people who’re a part of the systemic corruption uncovered” by the fee’s interim administration.
“In 2018, the Fee paid a complete of $900,00zero.00 (9 hundred Thousand ) solely to cowl the Fee’s obligations to its students.
“In 2019, the quantity paid rose to a complete of $three.5million (Three million, 5 Hundred Thousand ) solely. Lately, the IMC paid out a complete of $5.99m (5 Million, 9 Hundred and Ninety Thousand ) to cowl all of the verified obligations to our students.
“Now, there’s a demand for a further cost of $3million (Three Million ), bringing the overall to an alarming $9million (9 Million ),” Mr Odili mentioned within the assertion.
He added, “A few of the necessary questions everybody should ask are: why is the quantity paid to cowl our obligations to this international scholarship programme rising astronomically? The place are all these calls for coming from? What do they cowl?”
NDDC was arrange in 2000 by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo to fast-track growth in Nigeria’s Niger Delta area.
The area, 20 years after, nonetheless stays backwards when it comes to infrastructure and lifestyle, regardless of the massive amount of cash created from oil-exploitation within the space.
The fee, with a number of of its deserted initiatives littered across the area, has been concerned in corruption scandals, which led to its latest probe by the Nationwide Meeting.