REPORT AFRIQUE gathered that there were over 34 protesting students out of the 94 students of the 2018 batch sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission foreign (NDDC) scholarship programme.
Students from Nigeria under the scholarship scheme of the Niger Delta Development Commission awarded since 2018 are protesting over unpaid tuition allowance. The protest which took place in front of the Nigeria High Commission, London, caused a barricade blocking the three entrances of the embassy.
REPORT AFRIQUE gathered that there were over 34 protesting students out of the 94 students of the 2018 batch sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission foreign scholarship (NDDC scholarship) programme.
The protests is happening for the second time barely a month ago that the students protested at the same venue regarding the unresolved payment of their tuition allowance. Reports say that the scholarship payments for the students have not been processed for two years now while other previous batches have received payment from the commission.
The following complaints where gathered from some of the scholars who was involved in the protest.
“We are here to protest the non-payment of our school fees and allowance for the past two years. We have carried out a series of protests at this embassy but unfortunately, there was no positive response from the NDDC.protesting scholarship student
“They said our payment will be made by October 12th after the verification exercise has been concluded. From then till now, our tuition fees and upkeep have not been paid. They keep promising us on a weekly basis. We are tired of all these fake promises,”protesting scholarship student
However, in a press statement released by the management of the Nigerian commission in London which had prior information that the students were planning a protest, it appealed for calm, patience and understanding from the students.
The statement, which was signed by the Director of Corporate Affairs of the commission, Mr. Charles Odili, explained further that after the completion of the verification exercise as well as the registration of scholars and their claims with various schools, payment of the fees ought to have commenced if not for the stumbling blocks that emanated from the EndSARS protests and the events that followed after.
Despite the non-passage of the 2020 NDDC budget by National Assembly, the NDDC claimed in the statement that the NDDC IMC (Interim Management Committee) had earlier released funds through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to offset all verified pending payments.
Odili, the spokesperson of the commission closed the statement by re-affirming the commitment of the commission to the Post Graduate scholarship Scheme, which is he said is part of efforts to develop professional manpower in the transformation of the Niger Delta region.
The protesting students have promised to continue by Friday if their fees are not paid.