Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has debunked rumours that he abandoned overseas students on state scholarship.
Wike spoke in Port Harcourt, the state capital, yesterday when he released $1 million to 28 final-year students studying under Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) overseas scholarship scheme.
The governor said the rumour was false and baseless, noting the administration’s vested interest and priority on children and education.
Speaking through Commissioner for Finance Dr. Fred Kpakol, the governor said the government was not responsible for their admission.
“We came and incurred a lot of debts because the previous government, even while it took the students to foreign universities, could not pay their fees. And most of the students became frustrated.
“And as students of Rivers, the governor felt it necessary to look into their plight and foster a solution to that.
The governor noted that most of the students could study in Nigeria because some of their courses are available in universities here.
“Within the first month, as we came in on May 29, 2015, on June 10, the governor released N200 million to the RSSDA to pay for overseas scholarships because they encumbered a lot of cost and they needed to have a good documentation of students involved. So, the first tranche of N200 million was paid.
“On September 29, 2016, the governor released N485, 289,000, for part of their tuition fees. After he has done that, he considered it was necessary to do an audit to know the students and how they were meeting up.
“Now, the governor has graciously released $1 million to pay to nine universities for 28 RSSDA final-year overseas scholarships beneficiaries for payment of their outstanding tuition fees. This was done in the midst of biting economy and down trend in the economy of the country”.