The Federal Government has denied the report that 19 Nigerian students who were granted scholarship by the presidential amnesty programme to study in Russia

Special Assistant (Media) to SAPND/Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Murphy Ganagana in a statement signed in Sunday, May 20, 2018, described the report which was attributed to one of the students, Abilo Franz as mischievous.

Ganagana said it's not a true picture of the situation adding that it is a misrepresentation of facts concocted to blackmail the Amnesty Office.

Earlier, the 19 postgraduate students studying at the People’s Friendship UniversityofRussia cried out that the Federal Government has stopped funding their education since June 2016.

In a statement sent to media houses, Abilo Franz, one of the students said they had a meeting with the coordinator of their scholarship in September 2016, they were asked to go back to Russia and continue with their education.

The students' scholarship only covers BSc program

However, Ganagana said the students' scholarship which started in March 2011 only cover their Bachelors Degree programmes.

He added that the students were informed via a letter that the payment of their tuition will stop immediately after their graduation in June 2016.

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''The Amnesty Office originally sponsored 50 students to the People’s Friendship University, Moscow, mainly for Bachelors Degree programmes in March 2011. By June 2016, 24 students were left and 21 among them duly completed and graduated with good grades, for which they were congratulated by the Amnesty Office for their sterling performance''.

''On August 8, 2016, the Amnesty Office formally communicated them via a letter, notifying them that upon the completion of their graduation ceremonies in June 2016, payment of their tuition fees and allowances had ceased with the payment of June/July In-Training Allowances (ITA). They were requested to inform the Office of the Special Adviser within ten (10) days of receipt of the letter, the exact date they intended to return to Nigeria, in order to facilitate the issuance of their flight tickets''.

The statement further states that after completing their BSc program, some students returned home while some stayed back to start postgraduate programs.

‘Instead of complying with the directive to return home after the successful completion of the Bachelors Degree programmes for which their sponsorship strictly covered, the affected students opted to proceed on postgraduate programmes on their own volition, thereby making financial commitments to the institution in their private capacity, perhaps, with the hope of assistance from the Amnesty Office, the statement reads.

The coordinator of the students' scholarship in the statement, however, concluded that it is uncharitable for the 19 students to allege that the Federal Government abandoned them in Russia after completing the program the Presidential Amnesty Programme covers.

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