By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senate yesterday summoned the various agencies responsible for scholarships to Nigerian students abroad with a view to bringing the plight of the students to an end.
The resolution of the Upper legislative Chamber followed a Point of Order raised by the Chief Whip, Sen. Olushola Adeyeye during plenary.
Adeyeye said while some of the Senators where at Russia last week, they realised that Nigerian students on scholarship to that country were not paid their tuition describing the situation as most pitiable.
“The students’ stipends and fees have not been for months. This has become most embarrassing. We should not allow that to continue to happen” he said.
He said that the matter had gone far beyond being referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TetFund.
“Rather, the various agencies of government responsible for scholarships should meet with the Senate President to resolve and rescue the students and the country from further embarrassment,” Adeyeye said.
Supporting the motion, Sen. James Manager (PDP-Delta) said there was the need for the senate to take some steps to alleviate the plight of the students.
Similarly, Sen. Sam Egwu said it was a serious situation adding that there was no need sending Nigerian students to study abroad and then abandoning them to become beggars.
He decried that politicians were busy sending billions of naira whereas they could not support students.
While raising an additional prayers, Sen. Albert Akpan (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) noted that “a Nigerian in Russia, when the Niger Delta Amnesty students locked down the Nigerian embassy in Moscow, the Nigerian intervened and salvaged the country from that embarrassment in 2013.
“That Nigerian is yet to be refunded by the Amnesty Programme to the tune of N217 million,” he said.
Seconding the additional prayer, Sen. Kabiru Marafa (APC-Zamfara) said the situation was embarrassing and the senate should “support the Nigerian so that he can be strong enough to intervene in subsequent matters that may arise.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki described the situation as very pathetic and serious.
“We must tackle it headlong; we must address this. By next week we will meet with the agencies and find a way to putting this issue to an end to restore the image of our country and provide the future for our brightest crop of students.