Kabir Sagir, a medical graduate who won the Nigerian Federal Scholarship to study at the Latin American Medical School, Cuba, said the stipend to process his certificate had not been given to him since 2020.
Sagir said he had contacted Ndajiwo Asta, director of Federal Scholarship in Nigeria, on several occasions to know the reasons for the delay.
Sagir said he was told that his stipend had been sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for processing and disbursement.
“I graduated from the medical school in 2020, but I am still stranded here. The Federal Scholarship Board has refused to send my stipend to enable me process my documents and buy a return ticket,” he said.
Sagir said he contacted both the scholarship board and the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria, but they both said his allowance had been sent to the CBN.
“I recently contacted the CBN and the person I spoke with said it was not true, and that if there was any difficulty in sending the stipend, it should be returned to the scholarship board,” he said.
Sagir said he had graduated and had no reason to remain in Cuba, adding that he was ready to make use of his medical training in Nigeria.
“I am dying here in Cuba. I just want to come back home and work for my people. I am a good doctor who graduated with honours. My GP is 4,” said Sagir.
When FIJ contacted the Nigerian Federal Scholarship Board, a worker said they were aware of Sagir’s situation.
“We have sent his stipend to the Nigerian Embassy in Cuba. Maybe the embassy has not got in touch with him. He should try and get in touch with the embassy,” she said.
When FIJ asked how Sagir could process the stipend at the embassy, the worker said: “He knows how to process his stipend at the embassy. It was sent to the embassy because we don’t pay directly to students. There is a specific account at the embassy for that purpose. When we got a letter from him on Wednesday, we tried to verify with the account unit. It turned out it had been sent.
“Let him get in touch with the embassy. If there is any other thing, he can get back to us.”
FIJ made several calls to the Nigerian Embassy in Cuba to verify the board’s claim, but they were not answered. A message sent to them had also not been responded to at press time.
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