300 Nigerian students face expulsion from Romanian University over unpaid fees

Over 300 Nigerians currently studying in Constanta Maritime University, Romania, on the scholarship of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, are facing threat of expulsion from the institution over the alleged refusal of the agency to pay their school fees and other sundry allowances.

Investigation by PREMIUM TIMES showed that the young Nigerians have not been able to offset their fees thereby drawing the anger of the officials of the institution who have repeatedly threatened to send them back to Nigeria.

Each of the students, who are studying engineering, navigation and naval transport, pays a total of €5,720 (N1.23m by international exchange rate of €216).

The break down shows that each of them pays €4,500 as school fees; €300 as feeding allowance; €400 Euros for accommodation; €220 as stipends and €300 as winter allowance.

While the feeding, accommodation and stipends are paid monthly, the school fees and winter allowance are paid once a year.

The affected students are in their first, second and third year in the university.

One of the students, who pleaded anonymity for fear of being victimised, told this newspaper that the school authorities have threatened to send them back to Nigeria if NIMASA does not pay the fees and allowances by January 31.

“We are stranded, confused and cannot concentrate on our studies based on the unfortunate news of expulsion unleashed to them by the school,” he said.

“The school has said that if by 30th of January the school fees are not paid it has no option than to return us back home.”

He said the institution’s officials have been trying to contact NIMASA to resolve the matter “but no positive response from the agency concerning the future of the students in the school”.

He pleaded with the Federal Ministries of Transport and Education as well as the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Transport to intervene “for the sake of these young Nigerians who are eager to contribute their quarter towards national development”.

Efforts by this newspaper to reach the institution by mail and telephone were not successful.

When contacted, the NIMASA spokesperson, Lamin Tumaka, declined comments, saying she was yet to be briefed on such matter.

However, a senior official of NIMASA, who refused to speak officially because she was not authorised to do so, attributed the delay in paying the fees and allowances to the challenges the agency was facing.

The official however assured that the matter was being addressed and that the students would be paid soon.

“I’m sure you know the challenges NIMASA is facing; we are trying to sort things out,” she told PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday.

“We have an acting director general and you know other issues like the TSA (Treasury Single Account) and others. But we have commenced processing of their payment.”

NIMASA had sent over 2,500 young Nigerians on scholarship to reputable institutions in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Romania, India and The Philippines to study marine engineering, naval architecture and nautical sciences under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme.

In 2015, hundreds of the youth studying in Philippines were sent out of their classrooms over the alleged inability of the agency to pay their tuition fees and other sundry payments for their upkeep.

However, the then Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, had denied the reports of the student’s ordeal.

He said, “The students are studying to become marine engineers, naval architects and nautical scientists. This has gone on successfully. We were taken aback by the recent media publications on nonpayment of the students’ fees, which we believe may have been sponsored.

“For the avoidance of doubts, no student of the NSDP programme has been sent out of school for fees and none will be sent out because all fees have been paid by NIMASA till date.”

The former DG, who is currently facing trial for alleged corruption, said in the next five years, Nigeria would have produced a sizeable number of qualified seafarers, “satisfying local demands and also earning scarce foreign exchange from working on board foreign ships”.


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  • Otile

    The reason Imam Mohamed Buhari is reluctant to honor the scholarship awards is because his dull Fulani tribesmen can’t get those awards on merit and therefore not in Romania studying hard like the Southern students. Imam is set to pull Nigeria more backward than ever.

    • Analyst

      Exactly my thought. A president who only appoint his friends and family to lofty offices will be very angry if he finds all the students are from another side as none of his tribesmen want to do anything with water. Rather they are in Sudan studying terrorism.

    • musa aliyu

      Exactly, but you miss the point. Your imam will not pay until he knows whether federal character was applied in choice of who was sent otherwise the so-called students are on their own.

    • peaceometer

      How would he pay fees for un verifiable students, and the children of Tompolo, Asari Dokubo, Akpobolokemi and other rich men in the niger delta. Imagine rich benefiting from poor. Big parasites

  • objective

    Whilst I think the government should please help these students to finish since they have already stated, I however wonder aloud why Nigerians are sent to a Romanian University of all places. These are countries whom we are even better than. When I hear some places where our government, ministries, parents and others send Nigerian children in the name of foreign education/scholarships, I marvel. These thieves wouldn’t send their children to such places. Romania (lol). Romanians are roaming about the west and their education cannot even help them.

    • Roxie

      It’s likely you’ve met all the Romanians, isn’t it? I guess you just classified all Romanians just by a stereotype that’s been spreaded throughout Europe. The fact which seems you’re not aware of is, Nigerians don’t have a good reputation either. Should I be thinking that all Nigerians are scammers, or all of them are marrying whites because of convenience? I beg o. Despite of all these opinions people have about them, in some cases facts. I can’t afford judging a whole nation just by someone’s opinion. Quite the contrary, I’ve visited Nigeria and now I can have my own opinion about it. Do your research first and stop judging other countries just by what the media says. And please, pay yourself a visit to Romania and you’ll have the chance to visit a great place in spite of all this bad propaganda there is against Romania.

  • Nino

    Eight final year students sponsored by Rivers State Government studying Economics in the University of Portsmouth, UK with just four months to graduate are in similar situation. Already the University has thrown them out of school with a threat to report them to Immigration and Visa office on 25th of January, 2015.

  • mike

    Please NIMASA should send back our children that came back from UK, to finish their course the have just 3months to conclude please