The students, studying in St Vincent and Grenadines in the Caribbean, under the Rivers State Scholarship scheme, have resorted to stealing and other fraudulent acts to survive, because they are being starved of their monthly allowances and tuition fees, for close to two years.
The aggrieved final year students said that two of them who are billed to graduate with the other 14 this October, went into stealing when it was apparent they didn’t know where their next meal will come from.
At the time Vanguardngr reported this news, some of the students confirmed that they had not eaten for three days, let alone pay school fees. According to them, their living conditions degenerated to a level where they beg for alms in churches to survive, as their landlords ejected them from their apartments due to non-payment of rent, compelling many of them to live in the streets. .
The school authorities have also stopped them from completing their remaining clinical rotations before graduation. The 16 medical students were the candidates the Rivers State Government awarded scholarships in 2013 under the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency, RSSDA. .
They are accusing the Rivers State Government of abandoning them to suffer for close to two years in a strange land without any explanation. While confirming the report, the Executive Director of RSSDA, Larry Pepple, affirmed that the 16 students are owed 17 months living allowances and tuition fees.
According to him, the government of Rivers State has already made it public that it will only look after those who are already in their final year overseas, because the state government is struggling due to scarcity of funds.
His words: ‘’The ones that are in the final year, the governor has given approval for everything to be paid to them so that they can conclude and return. But unfortunately, this approval as we speak, is yet to translate to cash, because of the limited resources.’’