Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has approved N250m to offset the State governmentâ€™s foreign scholarship obligations in Russia, Malaysia and other parts of the world. The government also did the same for its students in the United Kingdom a few weeks ago.
The Governorâ€™s gesture came not long after no fewer than 70 Bayelsa indigenes on scholarships in Malaysia raised the alarm that they were stranded in the Asian country. The graduates had sent an appeal letter to Bayelsa State Governor subsequent to threats of possible deportation by the Malaysian Government owing to alleged unpaid allowances and inability to renew their Visas.
The letter, signed by the Chairman of the Bayelsa Students Community in Malaysia, Mr. Kelvin Otele, had said the students who graduated in flying colours in the fields of Business Management, Engineering and Information System Management since 2012, were stranded. Otele decried the failure of the scholarship board in the State to settle outstanding allowances, saying the development had rendered many of them stranded and others deported in shameful circumstances.
The Governor, who ordered the immediate release of the sum, restated his administrationâ€™s commitment to the welfare of all Bayelsans under government scholarships. He stressed that the State scholarships board had been mandated to fast-track the remittance of the money to the students and the various institutions concerned. Dickson equally urged the students to be patient, assuring them that efforts were in top gear at ensuring that the monies were remitted by the end of this month. He expressed his regrets over the undue delay in the remittance of funds to the students, blaming bank procedures for the delay and reaffirmed the governmentâ€™s resolve to fulfil its scholarship obligations, despite the unexpected decline in the Stateâ€™s revenue from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee stating that steps would be taken to forestall any delays in the process in the future.
On his part, Chairman of the Bayelsa State Scholarships Board, Foster Ogola, appealed to all students on State government scholarship to exercise restraint as the board is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that monies meant for them are remitted to them as and when due.