Senate Probes Delay In Scholarship Payments To Nigerian Students Abroad

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The Senate has directed its Committee on Education to invite the Federal Scholarship Board and the Minister of Education to provide a detailed report on the status of Nigerian students under international scholarship programmes.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Senator Saliu Mustapha (APC-Kwara) at plenary in Abuja on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Presenting the motion, Mustapha, said the federal government usually award annual scholarships to outstanding students to further their studies abroad to develop a cadre of exceptional professionals for the nation’s development.

He said the scholarships were part of a broader initiative to promote specialised education through partnerships with foreign institutions, facilitated by entities such as the Federal Scholarship Board under the Ministry of Education.

The lawmaker noted that the scholarship scheme supported the government’s commitment to Bilateral Education Agreements (BEA) and Multilateral Agreements with Commonwealth and other international partners.

Mustapha said reports of Nigerian students facing hardships in Algeria, China, Morocco, Russia, and the United Kingdom due to non-payment of tuition and living stipends had resulted in negative media reports and national embarrassment.

“The recurring problems are indication of systemic failures, in spite of previous interventions by the Senate to prevent the situation,” the senator said.

Mustapha said the government’s inability to meet its financial obligations under the international agreements for over ten months had jeopardised the welfare and academic progress of the affected students.

The lawmaker said failure to fulfil the obligations would affect Nigeria’s reputation.

This, he said, was capable of driving the students into unlawful activities to sustain themselves abroad.

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