Stranded scholars of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) studying abroad have gotten a major relief as President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the commission to pay them their entitlements.
The NDDC revealed this in a statement by its Director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Odilli on Tuesday.
According to Odilli, President Buhari conveyed the directive to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Buhari’s order is coming barely 24 hours after the abandoned students protested at the Nigeria High Commission office in London.
Odili also disclosed that scholars of the Commission, who are facing hardships abroad because of the non-remittance of their fees and stipends, would be paid by the end of the week, adding that the delay in the remittance of the fees was caused by the sudden death of Chief Ibanga Etang, the then Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, EDFA, of the Commission in May.
“Under the Commission’s finance protocol, only the Executive Director (Finance) and the Executive Director (Projects) can sign for the release of funds from the Commission’s domiciliary accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“With the death of Chief Etang, the remittance has to await the appointment of a new EDFA.
“Senator Akpabio, the Honourable Minister, said President Buhari who has been briefed on the protest by students at the Nigerian High Commission in London, has ordered that all stops be pulled to pay the students by the end of this week. We expect a new EDFA to be appointed this week. As soon as that is done, they would all be paid”, Odilli said.
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