The Federal Government of Nigeria, has approved N400 million for the payment of upkeep allowances of state sponsored students studying abroad. The Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Hajia HIndatu Abdullahi, made the disclosure in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday.
Abdullahi attributed the delay to non-release of capital allowance and the change in government which delayed the release of capital allocation for 2015. She explained that the upkeep allowance of the scholars did not come as over head allocation but capital allocation.
According to her, the allowance payable to the scholars outside the country is from January to December and it is calculated and captured in the budget every year. She said that the plight of the students was being taken seriously, adding that “we just have an approval of about N400 million, we are now working with the Federal Ministry of Finance to obtain it.
“After that, we will head to the Budget Office and the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the money is remitted as soon as possible to the missions. In terms of the paper work, we have concluded; we want to pay something so that their hardship will be minimised.“
Abdullahi said the entitlements were being worked out from January to December, adding that in 2014, the students got all allowances for the year between July and August.
“Whenever we receive capital allocation in the ministry, we work out the scholarship money and pay into CBN. CBN will now remit same in line with the information we have given them; it will remit to embassies which will remit to the scholars.“
The acting permanent secretary said that if there was any delay in the release of capital allocation, it would affect scholars’ upkeep allowances.