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Senate Urges Sanctions for Officials Over Hardships Faced by Nigerian Students Abroad

On Tuesday, the Senate urged the Federal Government to impose sanctions on officials responsible for the hardships endured by Nigerian students studying abroad.

The Senate also summoned the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, along with the leadership of the Federal Scholarship Board, to address delays in paying outstanding grants to these students.

Additionally, the Senate requested Prof. Mamman to provide a detailed report on the status of all Nigerian students in international scholarship programs, including a breakdown of their unpaid entitlements.

During Tuesday’s plenary session, the Senate directed its President, Godswill Akpabio, to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and ensure prompt measures are taken to resolve the situation.

This resolution followed a motion of urgent importance by Salihu Mustapha, the lawmaker representing Kwara Central Senatorial District. Mustapha emphasized that these scholarships are part of a broader initiative to promote specialized education through international partnerships facilitated by the Federal Scholarship Board under the Federal Ministry of Education.

He noted that this initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to Bilateral Education Agreements and Multilateral Agreements with the Commonwealth and other international partners.

Mustapha highlighted reports of Nigerian students facing hardships in Algeria, China, Morocco, Russia, and the United Kingdom due to non-payment of tuition and living stipends, resulting in negative media coverage and national embarrassment.

He pointed out that these recurring issues indicate systemic failures, despite previous interventions by the Senate to prevent such situations. Mustapha warned that the Federal Government’s failure to meet its financial commitments under these international agreements for over 10 months jeopardizes the welfare and academic progress of the affected students, undermines national reputation, poses significant diplomatic risks, and may push students towards unlawful activities to sustain themselves abroad.

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