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Nigerian official says student problems not as bad as reported

Officials from Nigeria’s Delta State are satisfied with the progress being made by Barbadian authorities in accommodating 90 of its students here.

Since arriving late last month under the Delta State Empowerment Programme, the Nigerians have complained in the Press about unsatisfactory living arrangements.

But Deputy Governor of the Delta State, Professor Amos Agbe Utuama who was on the island on a three-day fact finding mission told the media things do not appear as bad as was being reported in the Press.

“There has been very vicious Press reporting about the entire programme . . . It has been described as a programme designed to facilitate corruption and other inappropriate relations. We felt very bad about this and it was against this background the Government decided that I should come to see what was really happening,” he said at a media conference at Island Inn this afternoon.

The students who will soon begin nine-month courses at the Barbados Community College have been up in arms over their accommodations at Casa Grande, Oldbury, St Philip since arriving in the country last December.

Deputy Governor of the Delta State, Professor Amos Agbe Utuama (right) and consultant facilitator on the project, Donna St Hill at today's media conference.

Deputy Governor of the Delta State, Professor Amos Agbe Utuama (right) and consultant facilitator on the project, Donna St Hill at today’s media conference.

Professor Utuama said despite the challenges, he was pleased measures were being put in place to address the students’ concerns and make their stay more comfortable.

“In my interactions with the students I have asked them to be patient and it was all agreed that they would be relocated to more suitable accommodations and they agreed with this, so it is just a matter of time and I believe that that will happen,” he said.

“We moved around yesterday to look at some of the accommodations that [consultant facilitator Donna St Hill] is intending to take the students and I am satisfied that she has genuine intentions to move them from Casa Grande . . . . So in all I believe we are on course,” he added.

15 Responses to Nigerian official says student problems not as bad as reported

  1. Matthew Grosvenor
    Matthew Grosvenor January 21, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Of course things were not as bad as the Nigerians claimed, they wanted the other hotel and because they could not get it, they then damaged the reputation of the country by throwing tantrums like small kids. When it was explained it was either Casa or home, everyone calmed down. What a waste of air fair. He was probably considering in his mind sending them home and bringing a new set of students.

    • René Holder
      René Holder January 21, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      Right… Because 90 students that were promised a certain level of accommodation as part of their educational package but were instead housed in a place that is substandard to what they expected have an agenda to damage our countries reputation! These two are sitting here saying everything is fine as they handle millions of dollars of government funds to provide a satisfactory service to students and have fallen short in doing so. It is in their interest to say and make sure things are “fine” so they continue receiving government funds.

      • Shola Adeleye January 21, 2015 at 11:08 pm

        You seem to have negative view about the program and those involved in a managing it. Not everything about nigeria is shrouded in corruption. Where on earth do find students housed in five star hotel? Have you visited the facility to describe it substandard? Strange you don’t believe the statement of the second most senior official of the State of Delta ? And yet you believe in what the students are saying to the press. Shame on you Rene, your bias is so obvious.

    • Matthew Grosvenor
      Matthew Grosvenor January 21, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      Rene Holder, what part of the other Hotel saying they were completely booked and no other hotels on the Island have space to hold 90 Nigerians did you not read? Did you not hear Ms St. Hill confess that they told Ms Ram at the last minute while she was doing renovations? Did you not hear that water was available in other rooms but they decided to go to the pool to make it more dramatic? Did you not hear if they refused to stay their or if Casa refused them they would have had to go home? I got friends in NY studying in one room apt they are in a hotel. They are here to learn, not wine and dine like that is the most important thing. Go read the Sahara Report, they were told by an official in Nigeria to calm their ass down, but they continued on their rant.. What is it that you suggest happen, you have room for 90 with a TV and AC in every room that could accommodate them? If you do step forward and get your share in the money, and you can guarantee everything is “fine” and “up to par”

  2. Louise King
    Louise King January 21, 2015 at 8:11 pm


  3. Cornelius Drogo
    Cornelius Drogo January 21, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I wonder if he is staying at the Casa as well…

  4. Keisha Weekes
    Keisha Weekes January 21, 2015 at 8:36 pm


  5. Robert Holloway
    Robert Holloway January 21, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    As time moves on, things resolve and the studies start,. like this is the man paying for them to be here for nine months and the image of the new hotel will keep them waiting … quite a story

  6. Poodles January 22, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Matthew later down in the year take a staycation at Casa Grande then come back here and let us know how it was. Better yet and even cheaper look up the reviews for Casa Grande on Trip Advisor then book a nights stay, I’m sure you’ll be wined and dined amongst the other ‘visitors
    And what ‘renovations’ were she doing?

  7. Harry Turnover January 22, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Why focus on the students now that MONEY that was to be split between TWO WOMEN from the fraud that ORIGINATED in DELTA STATE has gone missing ?with ONE woman complaining and the OTHER suspended ?
    It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out what went on,especially when one of the women complained bitterly when the students did not arrive as planned,and the other went to Delta State.

  8. Dorothy Cumberbatch January 22, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I wonder why in the first place the Government of Barbados was not involved in helping to plan and execute this program on the ground and it was left in the hands of non-professionals. I would advise the Nigerians to put the fiasco behind them and to think positively as they move forward to attain the training they are there to get and to make the most of their stay by engaging with Barbadians and learning about our culture.

  9. Maxine Hutchinson January 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I do hope that the authorities at the BCC will give all of them top marks despite however they may have or have not performed in their “studies”. If this suggestion falls on deaf ears then I suspect that we may have yet another up-rising by those “students”.

  10. Pluto Merick January 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Cmon people let’s get on with it ..these are our blood of the blood…Thank all for the resolve….now lets get down to learning

  11. Roger Gibbons January 23, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Dorothy government takes too long to do things remember the boat race? . I remember a friend of mine contacting the ministry of health about donating some wheelchairs to Barbados, nobody responded. By the way he was a prominent judge in London. The chairs were eventually sent to another country. This happened in the other party all is the same mess.


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