National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in Canada has launched an internet fundraising platform; ‘Go Fund Me’ to garner support for over 246 stranded Nigerian students on scholarship in the country.
About 246 Nigerian students sponsored by the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), studying in nearly 14 universities in Canada on scholarships are yet to receive their tuition and living expenses since January this year.
The affected students, largely youths from poor background hold scholarships to study in Canada covering their four year degree programme now faces deportation due to failure to pay their allowance.
Seeing their tuition and living expenses owed running into millions of dollars, the Canadian government and University authorities had resolved to repatriate the students if fees were not paid before the end of December this year.
But the President of Nigerian Students Association in University of Manitoba (U of M), Oyindamola Alaka said they have setup an online fundraising platform to securing financial aids for the students.
According to Alaka, the affected students are in distress over failure to access their living allowances of $1,100 monthly for the past 11 months and tuition owed running into millions of dollars.
“It is incredibly sad to hear that the Rivers state government has been unable to pay the school fees and monthly allowance of the RSSDA Students. Over the last 11 months, these students have had to fend for themselves and unfortunately have overdue school fees,” Alaka told SavidNews after its executive meeting in Winnipeg.
“We have launched an online funding raising support for the students. We have a responsibility to cry out for support on their behalf. The situation is now critical due to the huge debt.
“Although, some universities have helped their students through by compromising, students here at the University of Manitoba have been given a 30 day deadline to pay all outstanding fees.
“Many of these students are struggling and having difficulty making ends meet. How can we expect our fellow students to focus on exams when they have to worry about from where they will find the next meal?
“This is unjust. This is unfair. This is not their fault. This could happen to anyone. They have been given 30 days to pay their tuition,” she said.
“Big thank you to Nigerian student Bénédicte LeMaître who has created this site to raise money to support the RSSDA Students. Please kindly donate to this cause, any amount is welcome. Thank you,” She concluded.
SavidNews learnt RSSDA is a Rivers State government organisation sponsoring hundreds of poor but academically gifted students to study at universities in 14 countries, including Canada.
Local media says the RSSDA owes the Nigerian students who had since begun doing part time jobs and about $3 million in living allowance and also owes $2.5 million in tuition to 14 Canadian universities.
The Students association at U of M are seeking financial support of about $250,000 for at least 50 affected Nigerian students in the institution.