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The Act for Positive Transformation Initiative has raised an alarm on the plight of Nigerian youths sent abroad on scholarship by the Niger Delta Devepment Commission (NDDC), calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene to save them.
The group in a statement signed by its
Head, Directorate of Research, Strategy & Programme, Kolawole Johnson, and made available to journalists alleged series of fictitious payments by the NDDC interim management committee (IMC), on the name of postgraduate scholarship programmes abroad, while the “genuine scholars” are abandoned to languish.
He said : “The Act for Positive Transformation Initiative strongly condemns the unnecessary drama surrounding the payment of NDDC scholars in foreign countries while officials of the commission have become so notorious in the predatory act of plundering the resources of the people.”
“The present management of Niger Delta Development Commission under the leadership of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen Godswill Akpabio, has turned the treasury of the commission to personal purse servicing their greed at the expense of the people and the region,” he said.
The statement also alleged that the commission had last week released a statement attributing the delay in payment to verification of scholars’ claims to the fact that the Acting Director of Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, went to London to carry out in September.
This is very untrue. Dr Cairo went to London for medical attention on his ailing eyes; he never stopped by at any school for verification exercise. We may release further details, if the commission attempts to deny this in its usual practice.
“We also hope the Ag EDP has not deceived the commission to sponsor his personal trip in disguise”, the group noted.
Venting further, the group said: “Asides sheer wickedness, gross irresponsibility and incompetence cum corruption, no genuine reason can be attributed to the non-payment of the scholars. While it has refused to pay genuine claims, the interim management of the NDDC has never stopped indulging in all manners of frivolous payments for dubious and non-existing contracts in its unrelenting quest to scavenge the commission’s resources. This is the same management that paid itself scholarship fund without any scholarship award.”