The federal government says it has released N9.5 billion for the payment of backlog of scholarship allowances owed Nigerian students at home and abroad up to December 2018.
Adamu Adamu, minister of education, disclosed this during a press conference in Abuja. NAN reports that the minister was represented by Asta Ndajiwo, director, Federal Scholarship Board.
He said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has already expended over N800 million in 2018 for the payment of scholarship stipends to students at home and abroad.
According to him, with the current release, the administration will be spending a total of N10 billion for payment of scholarship to students in the 2018 budget “and we are determined to do more’’.
He said: ”Let me use this opportunity to direct the scholarship board to immediately undertake all due processes required to clear the backlog of scholarship allowances owed Nigerian students both home and abroad.
”The federal government has already released the sum of N9, 752, 000, (000) for this purpose.
”In the third edition of our weekend press briefing, I informed you that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has already expended over N800 million in payment of scholarship stipend.”
Adamu said the board had inherited scholarship liabilities from the scheme operated by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
He said the liabilities should be thoroughly verified before payment, adding that the board must ascertain that the admissions of such scholars were still valid and that the scholars were still currently pursuing their programmes.
He said that the number of scholarship applicants had risen to 30,000 as against the usual 12,000 applicants for the four scholarship schemes.
The minister appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to call off their prolonged strikes in the interest of Nigeria, parents and students.