The Federal Government has paid the eight months allowances it owed the over 322 Nigerian students on the Bilateral Educational Agreement scholarship in Russia.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Tuesday that the failure by the Federal Government to pay the allowances of the students had forced them into begging and resorting to illegal jobs, which put them at risk of deportation in Russia.
Following the report, our correspondent gathered on Thursday that the students had since started getting credit alerts on their respective bank accounts.
One of the affected students, Moyosore Ojuri, who is in her second year studying Metallurgical Engineering at the Volgograd State Technical University, Russia, told our correspondent on the telephone that the sum of $4,450 had been paid into her bank account.
The money, she explained, included $4,000 meant for her stipends from January to August; $200 for annual medicals and health insurance, and $250 covering her annual protective clothing.
Ojuri said she hoped that the Federal Government would begin paying them their allowances as at when due and save them from undue hardships.
“Before now, the Federal Government owed us from January to August. But now they have paid us everything. I can pay my accumulated debts and I am sure that I won’t be sent packing from the hostel over unpaid accommodation fees,” she said.
One of the student leaders, Akinola Akindamola, a post-graduate student of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Volgograd State Technical University, Russia, stated that he and other student leaders were going round to ensure that all of them, especially the new students, had received their allowances.
Akindamola, who is the President of the Senate Committee of Association of Nigerian Scholarship Students in Russia, said, “The payment of the money is in process and I am confident that by the end of today, we would all have been paid. The least problem we want now is to be financially handicapped. We appreciate the Federal Government for their prompt response.”
When contacted, the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, Mr. Olu Lipede, confirmed that the Federal Government had paid the students all their entitlements.