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FG’s Foreign Scholarship Beneficiaries Lament Unpaid Stipends

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Nigerian students studying in Russia, Morocco, Algeria, China, Hungary, and other countries, on the Federal Government’s scholarship have lamented their unpaid stipends for eight months running.
The students are studying under the Federal Government’s Bilateral Educational Agreement (BEA) scholarship.
The BEA scholarship is for the purpose of education exchange between Nigeria and the partnering countries.
The scholarship scheme is being supervised by the Federal Scholarship Board under the Federal Ministry of Education.
In a statement on Wednesday, the President of the Union of Nigerian Students under the Federal Government-controlled Bilateral Educational Agreement Scholarship, Ayuba Anas, said the scholars had not been paid for close to eight months.
Anas said, “For the past six to eight months, scholars enrolled in various institutions abroad have endured financial strain due to the delay in receiving their stipends.
“In addition, from the last payments we received (March-August), there was a shortfall of practically two and a half months’ payment. Moreover, some students in China have not received any stipends since they arrived in April and May 2023.
“This delay has led to dire consequences, especially for those residing in countries like Morocco, where the country doesn’t have adequate provisions for school hostels, unlike the other sister BEA countries. This means that stipends are crucial for covering basic expenses such as housing, electricity bills, handouts, internet bills, water bills, transportation, and food.
“Regrettably, some students have faced eviction as they struggled to meet rent payments, while others have tragically fallen ill due to hunger, requiring urgent medical attention. These hardships persist amidst the ongoing delay in stipend disbursement.”
According to Anas, scholars in Russia “are grappling with the harsh reality of an increased cost of living, exacerbated by the prolonged delay in stipend disbursement.”
“Forced to navigate financial hardships amidst the pressures of academic stress, many students have been pushed to the breaking point which is diverting their focus from their primary goal of academic excellence.”
The students said while they were aware of the current economic realities back home in Nigeria, the terms of the education exchange programme did not allow them to take up any job to aid themselves.
They implored the Federal Government to recognise their plight and take immediate action to alleviate their suffering.
“We earnestly plead with our President, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a father figure and a visionary in education, to intervene in this pressing matter.
“His intervention in ensuring the prompt disbursement of our stipends will not only alleviate our current hardships but also allow us, his scholars, to focus wholeheartedly on our studies. We are confident that under President Tinubu’s compassionate and forward-thinking leadership, swift action will be taken to resolve this issue, enabling us to continue our academic pursuits without the burden of financial strain”, he pleaded.
As of the time of filing this report, the Federal Ministry of Education has not issued any statement on the matter.

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NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians To EU Ban On Dex Soap

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The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has alerted Nigerians on the ban on Dex Luxury Bar Soap (No 6 Mystic Flower), by the European Union (EU).
The notification is contained in a public alert with No. 012/2024, signed by NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, and issued to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
“The product does not comply with the cosmetic products regulation; it also contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional (BMHCA), which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system.
“It also causes harm to the health of unborn children and may cause skin sensitisation.
“It is as a result of the defective nature of the product that the EU banned it.
“The products is not in NAFDAC database; importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain,” she said.
NAFDAC boss urged marketers and consumers to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product, stressing that product’s authenticity and physical condition must be carefully checked.
She enjoined members of the public in possession of the product to discontinue sale or use, and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

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Communities, Volunteers Ready To Face Upcoming Floods – Red Cross

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The Country Manager of the British Red Cross in Nigeria, Karsten Voigt, says communities and volunteers are ready to face the challenges expected with the upcoming floods.
Voigt said this at the sidelines of the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Lagos Branch.
The Tide’s source recalls that the British Red Cross donated resilience items to some communities in December 2023, to help mitigate the effects of flooding.
The items included cash, rain boots, rain coats, mosquito nets, handheld flashlights, solar powered lights with radio, USB chargers and a bridge to link the communities.
The communities that benefited included Agboyi 1, Agboyi 2, Agboyi 3 and Odo Ogun in Kosofe Local Government Area of the state.
Voigt said the Red Cross had measured the impact of the project in the communities and noticed that a lot of progress had been made.
According to him, apart from the cash and items given to the communities, simulation exercises have also been carried out to prepare the volunteers ahead of the floods.
“We have seen that people used the cash to address immediate needs they have after floods.
“Many households have used part of the cash to build up businesses.
“The solutions we have given to them are not only addressing their immediate needs after the disaster but actually building family income for their future,” he said.

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Nimet Forecasts Three-Day Sunshine, Thunderstorms

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunshine and thunderstorm from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook released yesterday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday with a few patches of cloud over the northern cities and prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Taraba later in the day.
According to the forecast, sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with prospects of morning thunderstorm over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Kogi and Kwara States.
“Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi and Benue States.
“The southern region is expected to be cloudy with spells of sunshine with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos States.
“ In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Lagos and Bayelsa States,” it said.
NiMet also anticipated sunny skies on Tuesday with few patches of cloud over the northern states with prospects of isolated thunderstorms envisaged over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and Kaduna States during the afternoon and evening hours.
It envisaged the North Central region to be sunny with patches of cloud during the morning hours.
The agency also envisaged isolated thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue, Kwara and Niger States, later in the day.
“Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South, with chances of morning thunderstorm over parts of Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
“In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers and Bayelsa States ,” it said.
It predicted a sunny atmosphere on Wednesday, with patches of cloud over the northern region, during the forecast period.
“Sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory and Benue States, during the afternoon/evening periods.
“ Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia.”
Other states to experience cloudy atmosphere, are “Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States, later in the day.”
NiMet urged the public to take adequate precaution as strong winds might precede rains in areas where thunderstorms were likely to occur.
The agency also urged airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from its office for effective planning in their operations.

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