Senate moves to rescue Nigerian students stranded abroad

Bukola Saraki
Senate President, Bukola Saraki [Photo: Nigerian Pilot]

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday moved to end the plight of Nigerian students on scholarship abroad.

Moving the motion under order 42 and 52, Senate Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, Osun-APC, bemoaned the ‘pitiable’ condition of Nigerian students abroad who are been neglected by agencies of government.

Mr. Adeyeye noted that the students are currently stranded in Russia, United Kingdom, Canada and other countries due to inability of the Federal Government to pay their tuition fees and stipends.

“Mr. President, just last night, I got a very lengthy e-mail from Nigerian scholars in the UK complaining just like those students that spoke in your presence in Russia. Specifically, among other things, the stipends on which these students will live for food, transportation, housing have not been paid for many months. In addition, their school fees have not been paid,” he said.

Supporting the motion, James Manager, Delta-PDP, wants the agencies responsible to take urgent steps in addressing the issue.

“I have travelled enough and I know the suffering of Nigerian students who are on scholarship,” he said.

“Many students are taken out of this country by government agencies. Mr. President, this is a very serious matter. The agencies of government should take steps in alleviating the sufferings of these young and brilliant Nigerians.”

Senate President Bukola Saraki, Kwara-APC, said the government’s shortcomings has led some Nigerian students to illegal activities abroad.

“The situation is very pathetic and we must tackle it head-on. I have the opportunity to meet with our counterparts in Russia who categorically told us that they are ready to give us more scholarship but unfortunately, some who have been on scholarship for two years have not been paid. Some are just roaming the streets, doing illegal activities.

“The minimum figure is about $500 per student. This is not acceptable. We must address this. We’ll meet with these agencies and find a way to putting this issue to an end.”

The lawmakers agreed to summon various agencies of government responsible for scholarship to Nigerian students to meet with the Senate President with a view to bringing the plight of the students to an end.

The Senate also charged the agencies involved in the Amnesty Programme to ensure “a refund to Nigerians who rescued Nigerian students in Moscow who have not been paid for over four years.”

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