Stranded Nigerian students abroad write minister, demand payment of allowances

Constanta Maritime University Romania,

Over 300 Nigerians on Federal Government Bilateral Agreement Education Scholarship Scheme abroad have petitioned the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, demanding the full payment of their 2015 stipends, including their allowances and return tickets for graduating students.

The students, under the aegis of “Ph.D and Senior Postgraduate Students on BEA Scholarship,” said they did not receive their entitlements between January and December 2015 thereby causing them hardship.

The scheme is a bilateral agreement between the Nigerian government, through the ministry of education and the federal scholarship board, and other countries to train students in various fields while the home government takes care of their upkeep during their stay in the host countries.

It is the largest federal government scholarship scheme with students in Russia, China, Ukraine, Cuba, Hungary, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.

In the letter dated January 3, 2016 and signed by their president, O.G Ezinkwo, the students, numbering 375, told the minister that they and 600 other beneficiaries around the world had been abandoned for 11 months with no source of livelihood due to the inability of the government to promptly release their stipends.

They said the development had exposing them to very dangerous and pernicious situation in foreign lands.

They claimed that every year Nigerian scholarship students always had to be evicted from their accommodation due to inability to pay, visas and passports get expired with no funds to renew them.

They also stated that in the process some of the students became sick and could not be treated due to the lack of the mandatory health insurance and were always being threatened with expulsion on an annual basis.

“Nigerian students are popularly known as giant mendicants among even lower African countries because they have to resort to begging for at least six months before their stipends are paid with this year being the worst with a waiting period of 11 months and counting,” they said.

“In June 2015, some students graduated and could not purchase tickets to go home due to lack of funds from the government. The consequence is that visas got expired and laws of other people’s land were violated and some were on the verge of being deported.

“In December 2015, a number of PhD students are graduating and will possibly be confronted with the same fate as there is no proper arrangement for their return tickets and may likewise face deportation upon graduation.

“In 2013 when this matter first got to the seventh national assembly students were subjected to starvation for six (6) months. In 2014, students were abandoned for eight (8) months and 2015 – eleven (11) months. By the numbers stated above, which can also be corroborated by the national dailies of respective years; it has clearly become an exacerbating reoccurring decimal.”

Mr. Adamu could not be reached for his response.

In a separate letter to the Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria, Nikolay Nikolayevich, the students pleaded with the Russian government to temporarily suspend the BEA owing to the failure of the Nigerian government to meet her obligation towards the beneficiary of the scheme in Russia.

The students also requested Mr. Nikolayevich to raise the issue with the Nigerian government as a set of PhD students are graduating in February/March and would possibly be confronted with the same fate as there is no proper arrangement for their return tickets and may likewise face deportation after graduation if nothing is done to avert the infraction of the immigration laws of the Russian federation.

They also asked the Russian Ministry of Education and Foreign Affairs to prevail on the Nigerian Ministry of Education and Federal Scholarship Board to seek for a permanent solution to this perpetual problem as students can no longer study properly due to perpetual hardship, starvation and hunger amidst the global economic crises.


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  • Otile

    These students must face reality. How can they expect their illiterate leader to expend huge resources training them in PhD and beyond? What is his own qualification in the first place, does he understand the value of education? He figures that any Fulani man can become president any day and wonders why other ethnic groups can’t try.

    At a point these students must understand that they should be on their own, try to move on with what they got, or come back to 9ja and join the line. Imam Buhari owes them nothing, after nobody encouraged him to go to the University. He had to forge his way to the top. Huh.

    • Otile

      …afterall nobody but nobody encouraged him to go to the University, he had to forge his way to the top. Huh.

      • Jokymama

        You need to read up on the early signs of deep rooted mental issues on Google. Compare the written symptoms with your repetitive actions and tell us what you discovered.

        • Otile

          What are you struggling to say?

          • Oladele

            That you are going mad or already mad! That is what I thought guys are telling you, if you reply again or say you dont understand then it is evidence that you are actually MAD!

    • e_orpheus

      Enough already! You sound irritating.

  • These are the countries where the largest federal government scholarship scheme that has cost Nigeria millions of dollars were sent while universities in Nigeria are grossly underfunded and looking like glorified war ravaged primary schools: Russia, China, Ukraine, Cuba, Hungary, Egypt, Morocco, Togo, Libya, Niger Republic, Belarus, Ghana, Algeria etc…… This is because these countries provide better standard of education for Postgraduate studies than Nigeria universities! This is the drivel the Ministry of Education would want Nigerians to believe! In a recent survey of world universities of repute, it is only UNN that came up within the 2,000 mark. In the same survey, no university in these third rate countries listed above was mentioned. It is high time the Federal government had another look on this monumental waste called the Scholarship Board where children of the privileged few abuse the system at the expense of tax payers. If Nigeria Universities are adequately funded and maintained, we have committed Lecturers and academics that can provide the best education to whatever level in Nigeria. Awarding somebody a scholarship to study Media Studies is not the best we can do.