Nineteen beneficiaries of the Rivers State Overseas Scholarship Scheme have returned from the United Kingdom without completing their programmes.
The students returned to Nigeria to avoid deportation after the expiration of the deadline for the payment of their school fees and allowances for accommodation.
Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Thursday that the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had released some funds to offset the amount owed by the students.
It further disclosed that the funds did not reach the students before the expiration of the deadline for the payment of their tuition fees.
The statement by the Manager, Media and Communications of the RSSDA, Mr. Kingsley Uranta, stated that the registration of the 19 students from the universities of Huddersfield (11), Bighton (three) and Nottingham Trent (five), had been deferred to 2016.
“The Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, recently released some funds to pay tuition fees and upkeep and accommodation allowances for some of our students and their universities.
“However, for the UK in particular, the deadline for the payment of some schools fees elapsed before the fees could get to them. As a result, the registration of 19 students for 2015/16 in the universities of Huddersfield (11), Brighton (three) and Nottingham Trent (five) have been deferred to 2016,” the RSSDA said in the statement.
The agency pointed out that the affected students, who were on their way from the United Kingdom as of the time of issuing the statement, had to return to Nigeria in order to avoid being deported.
The RSSDA explained that it had confirmed from the aforementioned universities that the students could return to the institutions next year.
“Sadly, the 19 students, who have now left the United Kingdom to avoid infringing their immigration status and be deported, are expected to arrive in Nigeria today Thursday, October 22, 2015.
“We have confirmed from the universities that the students have the opportunity to return to school next year. We shall update you on any further development on the issue,” the statement read.