Senate summons Education Minister, Scholarship Board over delayed payments to outstanding students 

Sharon EboesomiMay 29, 20243 min

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

The Senate has mandated its Committee on Education to summon the Federal Scholarship Board and the Minister of Education to provide a detailed report on the status of all Nigerian students under international scholarship programs including a breakdown of their unpaid entitlements. 

This is as it urged the Federal Government to impose appropriate sanctions on the officials within the Federal Scholarship Board and the Federal Ministry of Education who are accountable for these failings, thereby upholding the integrity of Nigeria’s international commitments.

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion for urgent investigation and resolution of the challenges of tuition payment and other welfare-related problems faced by Nigerian Students under the FG Overseas, Commonwealth and Bilateral Scholarship Programmes.

The motion’s sponsor, Senator Saliu Mustapha (APC, Kwara Central) lamented the plights being faced by the beneficiaries, stressing that the Federal Government awards annual scholarships to outstanding students from across the country to further their (graduate/undergraduate) studies internationally, thereby fostering a cadre of exceptional professionals for national development. 

He said, “These scholarships are part of a broader initiative to promote specialised 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. 

“There are 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.”

READ ALSO: Every Nigerian child deserves access to university education – Kalu 

Lamenting over the recurrence of these issues he stressed that it will bring systemic failures, despite previous interventions by the Senators to prevent such situations saying the Federal Government’s failure to meet its financial commitments under these international agreements for over ten months will jeopardise the welfare and academic progress of the affected students. 

He said, “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.”

STAR Check: Nigerians, particularly, constituents of Kwara Central district, can keep tabs on the legislative performance of Sen. Mustapha throughout the 10th senate here.

Sharon Eboesomi

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