River State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said his administration has spent N1.4 billion so far on students of the state on scholarships overseas.
There had been series of complaints that students of the state sent overseas on scholarship by the immediate past administration had been stranded because of backlog of debts.
Speaking on Sunday at St. Paul’s (Anglican) Cathedral Church, Diobu, Port Harcourt during an interdenominational church service to commemorate the 55th Independence anniversary, Wike said his administration was committed to clearing the backlog of debts of the students even though the debts were incurred by the past administration.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, said: “We thank the CAN president for expressing his concern about our students and want to assure you that His Excellency has so far spent N1.4 billion so far on overseas scholarships and just last Thursday ,he released N491 million to make sure that every child of Rivers State schooling abroad must receive money. We would continue to help the children irrespective of how they got there.”
The governor was thankful to God for keeping the unity of Nigeria intact, and was optimistic that Nigeria would overcome its present economic downturn.
He also expressed optimism that Nigeria will surmount its challenges of underdevelopment, insecurity and poverty because Nigeria is a blessed nation that must rid itself of bitterness and unforgiveness.
Speaking earlier at the occasion, the Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province and Bishop, Diocese of Niger Delta North, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev.Ignatius Kattey, in his sermon titled: Fear God, noted that “human beings fear what they should not fear and fear not what they should fear.”
He noted that no new state had been created since 1999 and observed that corruption was still rampant.
He said the security situation had not improved, stressing that the army and police cannot handle it alone. He called for the involvement of all Nigerians to solve the security challenges.
Also speaking, the Overseer of Royal House of Grace Church and President of Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Rivers State Chapter, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to emulate the forgiving spirit of late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has the chance to be like Nelson Mandela. He should rule this country not as the President of Nigeria or the President of the APC or any political party but as a father of the nation.” -Thisday