CBN, Ministry Differ over Delay in Scholars’ Allowance

Funmi Ogundare

The Federal Ministry of Education and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have disagreed on the delay in the payment of scholarship allowance to Nigerians currently studying in Russia, THISDAY findings have revealed.

While the education ministry claimed that the delay was caused by the activities of the apex bank, the CBN disputed the claim, insisting that it was still waiting for the payment mandate from the ministry.

Further checks showed that the students under the Nigeria-Russia Bilateral Scholarship had been mounting pressures on their parents following the failure of the federal government to pay the allowance since September 2021.

 The students’ challenge was said to have been compounded by the high cost of food and other commodities as a result of the global sanctions against Russia over its current war in Ukraine.

 The students, who have to contend with the astronomical rise in the cost of living in Russia, are beginning to mount pressure on their parents to send money to them from Nigeria.

As a result of this, a delegation from the parents’ association met with the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

At the meeting, according to our checks, the minister assured the parents that the federal government was working on the payment of the outstanding allowance to the students in Russia.

During the meeting, the parents expressed appreciation for the government’s support for the Nigerian students in Russia. They, however, pleaded for a rescue plan to make the students comfortable.

During the meeting, the minister told the parents that the education ministry had concluded arrangements for the payment but that the ball was now in the CBN’s court to disburse the money. He disclosed that their counterparts in Morocco had just been paid.

However, when contacted, spokesperson for the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, dismissed the Minister’s claims, saying there was no way the CBN would hold on to the payment if the education ministry had done its bits.

 “It won’t take the CBN up to five days to ensure the payment once we get the mandate to do so,” he said.

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