The Rivers State Government has stopped the funding of overseas scholarship for its students currently enjoying it in various Universities overseas.
The state government informed parents and guardians of students currently benefiting from the state government funded scholarship programme in various universities across the world that resources are no longer available to continue with the sponsorship abroad.
The government said it will no longer pay the tuition and allowances of the scholars and has consequently advised all of them to return home.
The new policy of government was communicated to parents and guardians in a letter dated 6 February, 2016.
The Executive Director/CEO of the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), Lawrence Pepple, said that the only exceptions to the directive are those students in their final year ending 2016.
“All others will need to return to Nigeria to continue their studies; the government will continue to fully sponsor them. This way all the students will still achieve the desired objective of successful graduation in your chosen field of study,” the letter read.
The overseas scholarship programme administered by the RSSDA has been running since the 2008/2009 academic session and had a target of sending 300 students overseas annually.
The state government paid the entire bill of the scholars including the airfare, tuition (school fees, laboratory, books), accommodation, feeding and monthly upkeep.
However, a shortage of funds in the last three years saw a situation where the students were abandoned and left to fend for themselves as the former Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led administration owed them for several months at a point.