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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the payment of fees and stipends of stranded scholarship students of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) studying abroad following the protests of the students.

Buhari’s directive was conveyed to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in a statement signed by the NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili.

Odili said the students would be paid by the end of the week explaining that the delay was caused by the sudden death of Chief Ibanga Etang, the then Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, EDFA, of the Commission in May.

Odili said: “Under the Commission’s finance protocol, only the Executive Director (Finance) and the Executive Director (Projects) can sign for the release of funds from the Commission’s domiciliary accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

“With the death of Chief Etang, the remittance has to await the appointment of a new EDFA. Senator Akpabio, the Honourable Minister, said President Buhari who has been briefed on the protest by students at the Nigerian High Commission in London, has ordered that all stops be pulled to pay the students by the end of this week. We expect a new EDFA to be appointed this week. As soon as that is done, they would all be paid.”

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