By Sunday Bassey
Niger Delta Students Association has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for paying some of the outstanding overseas fees under the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) scholarships scheme.
The National President of the association, Ms Goodness N-Epba, gave the commendation during a courtesy visit to the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang, in Uyo on Monday.
N-Epba, accompanied by representatives of the student body from all states of the Niger Delta, said that the hitherto stranded overseas students had started receiving payments for tuition fees and study grants.
She added that since President Buhari had ordered that they be paid about a fortnight ago, the students had started receiving their fees and grants.
N-Epba, a student of the University of Port Harcourt, said the overseas students were members of their association, hence the solidarity visit to the presidential aide on their behalf.
She suggested that the scholarships scheme should be expanded to accommodate more students at home and abroad.
“We are gathered here today because we have seen results. It is something that is of great joy to us. Thank you for speaking on our behalf,’’ she noted.
Also speaking, Mr Idongesit Ukpong, Coordinator of the Students Union in Akwa Ibom, equally poured encomiums on President Buhari over the development.
In his response, Sen. Enang assured the students that the president was concerned about the welfare of Niger Delta people, including students from the Region.
“When you led the protest to me in Abuja and the overseas students led the protest to the High Commission in London, I addressed you at the Abuja office.
“I addressed the students (overseas) virtually. At the meeting, I conveyed to you that His Excellency, the President, is telling you to cool temper; I told you that the issue would be sorted out,’’ he recalled.
Enang reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the welfare of students of the region by the Buhari administration.
He urged the benefitting students to be serious in their studies so as to have ample knowledge which would translate into meaningful progress in the Niger Delta Region, in particular and Nigeria, in general.
“We, as a government will ensure that the future of our children is not endangered in any way,” Etang added.