PAP denies terminating educational scholarships of beneficiaries

Abuja—The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has denied reports that it has discontinued sponsorship of beneficiaries awarded Formal Education scholarships.

The Amnesty office in a statement on Saturday maintained that contrary to publications on many news platforms, “All current PAP scholarship beneficiaries (i.e. onshore and offshore) remain bonafide delegates of the programme and shall continue to benefit from approved privileges associated with their respective scholarship awards.”

It, however, said that “due to the current education scholarship debts and outstanding commitments, the PAP has suspended the award of fresh scholarships until these obligations are cleared.”

Recall that had reported that the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) had hinted to the suspension of Presidential Amnesty scholarships.

Giving reasons for the suspension of the Presidential Amnesty Scholarship Programme while addressing newsmen in Abuja earlier this year, Ndiomu said it came on the heels of huge costs of the PAP programme.

He said, “Let me quickly mention here that one of the reasons it was necessary to suspend the scholarship programme was because of the costs of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

“For example, we now have a total of well over 3,000 individuals to whom scholarships have been awarded.

“If you look at the bill, tuition fees are well over N7 billion for the section. We are talking about onshore 3,000 plus, offshore, there’s no government institution. There was a need to take a second look at it and that was why we had that problem with Baze University because it was just impossible to pay the tuition across these institutions.

“These were not government-owned universities; we are talking about private universities. Millions of Naira on individual students, I don’t want to put blame on anyone but that was without any doubt, reckless.

“There was a need to take a second look at it which we are doing and we are not going to suspend the scholarships which have already been awarded because it was not the fault of these children to be awarded these scholarships, we have to work out a way of looking for the funds to upset these huge bills that we are confronted with.

“That’s why it was possible to discuss with Baze University to do a certain percentage payment, so that later on this year, we will be able to upset the balance of the tuition fees.

“We hope to do that with all other institutions before we can begin to talk about re-awarding scholarships in a more rational and reasonable manner consistent with the budget of the amnesty programme.”

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