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Politics

Senate Summons Minister, Others Over Nigerian Students Stranded Abroad

Senate

The Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, and the leadership of the Federal Scholarship Board have been summoned by the Senate over the delay in the payment of outstanding grants for Nigerian students who are reportedly stranded in various countries around the world.

Naijaonpoint understands that the lawmakers have also urged the Federal Government to take appropriate action against the officials of the Federal Scholarship Board and the Federal Ministry of Education who are responsible for the difficulties and hardships faced by these innocent students abroad.

They emphasized that this unfortunate situation is negatively impacting Nigeria’s reputation on the international stage.

Furthermore, the Minister of Education has been requested to provide a comprehensive report on the current status of all Nigerian students enrolled in international scholarship programs. This report should include a detailed breakdown of their unpaid entitlements.

Following a debate on a motion of urgent importance by Senator Salihu Mustapha, representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, the Senate passed a resolution urging Senate President Godswill Akpabio to conduct a thorough investigation promptly and take necessary actions to address the situation.

The Senator highlighted that the Federal Government grants annual scholarships to exceptional students nationwide for international (graduate/undergraduate) studies, aiming to cultivate a group of outstanding professionals for the country’s development.

“These scholarships are part of a broader initiative to promote specialized education through partnerships with foreign institutions, facilitated by entities such as the Federal Scholarship Board under the Federal Ministry of Education.

“This initiative supports the Government’s commitment to Bilateral Education Agreements (BEA) and Multilateral Agreements with Commonwealth and other international partners.

“Reports of Nigerian students facing hardships in Algeria, China, Morocco, Russia and the United Kingdom due to non-payment of tuition and living stipends, leading to negative media coverage and national embarrassment.

“The recurrence of these issues suggests systemic failures, despite previous interventions by this Distinguished Chamber to prevent such situations.

“The Federal Government’s failure to meet its financial commitments under these international agreements for over ten months will jeopardize the welfare and academic progress of the affected students.

“The failure to fulfil these obligations not only undermines our national reputation but also poses significant diplomatic concerns and risks pushing our students towards unlawful activities to sustain their livelihood abroad,” he said.

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