Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, permit me to begin this letter without the requisite protocol due to your high office owing to the urgency of its thrust.
I write you today with a bleeding heart, knowing full well that the study of the Nigeria-sponsored students abroad is facing grave challenges.
Sir, during the time of your campaign, you promised to take education as a top priority of your government. Although we are today seeing your seriousness in the sector through the appointments you recently made to handle the sector and the reforms that were introduced into the education sector, there is still one area you left unattended to. Thus, the plight of federal government-sponsored students in foreign countries.
During the time of your predecessor, the government has sponsored a number of students to universities abroad to study in various fields of endeavour under the presidential scholarship programme.
Sir, these students are today passing through a lot of untold hardship in their various countries of study all due to non-payment of their upkeep allowances. Owing to unpaid allowances, it’s very unfortunate that these students are now stranded in foreign countries, disorganised, while others were evicted from their flats for defaulting in tenancy agreements. More worrisome is the fact that some of them are not even attending lectures as they quit classes to eke out a living on some menial jobs.
Sir, I’m certain that you’re not aware of their sad story that is the reason I wrote this letter to you after I spoke on phone with some of the affected students and they told me about the hardship they are passing through, particularly in Russia. They have tried all effort to reach to the authorities in charge of their studies abroad but all efforts have proved abortive due to alleged negligence of duty from the side of the agency that is assigned with the responsibility of payment of upkeep allowances of the students.
Therefore, I would like to advise your government, which we brought to power through shared efforts and the will of God, to set up a committee to investigate this issue in order to find a remedy to the suffering of Nigerian students abroad.
It is of great importance for your government to address this issue because education and human capacity development mean a lot for societal development and these students are Nigerians who may contribute to the development of their country upon graduation.
Saving them from this untold hardship is saving the future of this country and clearing a phase of new development to this country, which you are determined to correct its ills and problems.
Ibrahim Adam, Kano.