The money, according to the minister, would include five months arrears owed to foreign students in 2017 as well as nine months allowances for students in 2018.
Dozens of students have reportedly held rallies in Russia to protest the non-payment of their stipends by the government in 2017. Most of the students that protested were those studying under the Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) scholarship.
The minister who was represented by the Director, Federal Scholarship Board, Mrs Ndajiwo Asta, made the remarks at media briefing Abuja. He said in addition to the N800 million spent by the government on the payments of scholarships last year, the backlog of allowances would be settled quickly.
He said, “Let me also use this opportunity to direct the Scholarship Board to immediately undertake all due processes required to clear the backlog of scholarship allowances owed to students at home and abroad up to December 2018. Federal Government has already released the sum of N9, 752,000 for this purpose.”
He said over 30,000 candidates who applied for BEA, Commonwealth Scholarship and Sustainable Development Goals Scholarship have written qualifying tests conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and the results would be made public.
He further said all the liabilities inherited by the Scholarship Board from the scheme operated by the National Universities Commission earlier, would be thoroughly verified before payments. He said the board must ensure that scholars were pursuing their programmes.