‘We’re stranded in Ukraine, Russia, begging for food’ – NDDC sponsored students lament
Some beneficiaries of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC Scholarship scheme have lamented going through difficult situations due to the non-payment of their tuition and allowances by the Nigerian government.
According to SaharaReporters, some of them said a number of their colleagues are currently stranded in Ukraine and Russia amid the ongoing face-off between both nations.
They also decried the blame game between the NDDC and the Central Bank of Nigeria over who is delaying their payment.
One of the affected students said during their last virtual meeting, the NDDC claimed the CBN was the one delaying the payment, adding that it had instructed the apex bank to pay the money since last December.
A source said: “Several of those scholars in Ukraine and Russia call out in pain on the scholars’ telegram group, reporting how NDDC has been ignoring their several calls and emails for help.
“Now we don’t really know who to cry out to again, whether it should be the Federal Government, the CBN, which is the government unit that is meant to pay us as and when due or NDDC, which is supposed to ensure that the CBN pays us as and when due because they are officially responsible for our payment. The most painful thing is that some of the scholars are in Ukraine and Russia not knowing their fate, with no money.
“The worst scenario is that during the last Zoom meeting, we had one of us there; he had been relating between us and the NDDC. The person gave us feedback in the meeting that the NDDC said it was the CBN that was delaying our money since last December, saying they had submitted our voucher and instructed CBN to pay us.
“PhD scholars yet to be paid by the NDDC are in the following countries – South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, USA, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Australia, Cyprus, Switzerland and Spain.
“Our condition is now worse. Many of us now beg for food to survive because there is no money to feed on and even no part-time job to make ends meet.
“Let all Nigerians help us ask the NDDC and the CBN why they have deliberately refused to pay us.
“Let Nigerians help us to ask the CBN and the NDDC why they left us to suffer in the diaspora without paying our tuition fees and upkeep while they keep telling the Federal Government and some Nigerians that they have settled their scholars?
“We have some of the Ukraine scholars now stranded in Poland. Some others are stranded in Russia, The Netherlands, USA, Australia among others.
“Let Nigerians help us to ask the CBN why they have refused to pay us for months even when our sponsor said they have submitted the payment voucher and instructed them to pay us.
“Let Nigerians help us to ask the NDDC why they did not take proactive steps to ensure that the CBN paid since they know that our survival and programme depend on the payments?
“We are sincerely clueless about the so-called game or treatment that the CBN and the NDDC extend towards their scholars.”
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