A group, the Niger Delta Rights Advocates (NDRA), has raised the alarm over the Plight of beneficiaries of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) foreign scholarship scheme.
It therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to immediately order for the settlement of all stipends and upkeep allowance of those studying overseas on the NDDC scholarship scheme.
NDRA, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by its spokesman, Darlington Nwauju, said beneficiaries of the scheme have always had a prolonged and recurring history of being abandoned every now and again.
The statement reads in part: “Our organization, the Niger Delta Rights Advocates (NDRA) have maintained a studied silence after we made our presentations to the House of Representatives Committee probing the operations of the NDDC.
“We shall remain undaunted in the task of demanding for the rapid and equal development of our region. Our group has been inundated with calls from our brothers and sisters who are beneficiaries of the NDDC foreign scholarship scheme.
“As as at today, human capital development index in our region is still at it’s lowest ebb, worsened by the fact that our youths who are beneficiaries of this scheme have always had a prolonged and recurring history of being abandoned every now and again.
“Shamefully and inhumanly, while these future leaders of our long-suffering region are thrown out of their accommodations and left at the mercy of the elements, the NDDC IMC continues day by day to pay for so-called “legacy contracts” with no social impact on the masses of our people.
“The NDRA is disturbed by the image on TV of our youths carrying placards against the Federal Government and the NDDC for the irresponsibility and obvious lack of proper planning on the part of the NDDC.
“We invite the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Buhari who has powers under the NDDC Establishment Act to direct, control and supervise the Agency, to immediately order for the settlement of all stipends/upkeep allowance of these ambassadors of the region who chose the honest path of hard work rather than relocating to the creeks for criminality.
“We demand that a structured and seamless payment protocol be adopted forthwith in order to avoid this recurring embarrassment our scholars have to face before their stipends are paid.
“We wonder why the sum of #85.6million naira should be credited into the accounts of Management staff of the NDDC in the name of attending graduation ceremony in the UK whereas, this sum of money should have been channeled to settling the bills of our scholars abroad.”