With a lot of negative news coming from the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC (NDDC) since the constitution of an interim committee to oversee its activities, another program under the commission which gulps about 300,000 US dollars per annum has come under intense criticisms as students are left stranded with no means to offset their academic bills due to an alleged directive by the Interim Management Committee to halt payment for scholarship programs in the commission.
Established in 2010, the NDDC foreign scholarship was designed to produce top-level professionals with technical manpower, capacity and expertise to compete in industries and other sectors around the world.
Sadly, 10 years after, the program which has benefitted more than 1,500 students from the region has turned into an international disgrace as students currently enrolled in major European Universities have been removed from their various academic programs after several requests by the institution’s management to the NDDC proved abortive.
According to an email from one of the universities addressed to a student obtained by this online news medium, it was revealed that the institution has been chasing the commission to live up to its responsible all to no avail as they were ignored with no replies nor payment received, leaving the stranded Niger Delta students to their fate as many some were asked to pay about 17,500 pounds (about Eight million, three hundred and sixty-five thousand, eight hundred and twelve Naira) as outstanding fees owed to the institution.
The Niger Delta Development Commission under the Interim Management Committee is yet to come up with a valid reason for halting the scholarship payment as sources within the commission squealed that withholding funds for student’s scholarship have long been a norm and conduit for diverting funds in the commission.
According to sources, with the NDDC now a pot of gold for a privileged few who rather than use the office to improve the social, economic and educational needs of people have resorted to looting the commission dry, many Nigerians especially Youth from the Niger Delta Region have called on the necessary anti-graft agencies to closely monitor the activities of the IMC which had the initial mandate of auditing the commission, as there seem to be no visible difference in the looting spree carried out in the commission, which according to them has only turned worse with an unprecedented increase in funds misappropriation.
There have also been calls to disband the IMC and setup the constitutional board.