Ghanaians studying in Morocco under the Morocco scholarship programme have appealed to the government to release their stipend, which is in three months arrears.

According to the students, the delay in the release of their stipend is affecting their studies.

The students spoke to a group of Ghanaian Journalists who visited the North African country to explore the bilateral relations between both countries in the area of tourism, trade and education.

“Our monthly stipends do not flow the way they are supposed to, so then as someone who stays in an apartment, it is difficult for me to pay my rent when it’s due and now I will be found wanting if my landlady is not nice to say, stay if you have the money and pay so that’s the main problem,” one of the students told the group of journalists.

They said the government last paid them their stipend in November, 2021 stressing that their stipends have not been regular since outbreak of COVID-19.

“Currently in my final year, I do internships and with the internship, you need money for transport and also students in architecture, they need to always buy equipment and students in dentistry, they need money for all that…now it’s been really difficult we had to always call home for little help and all that,” another student lamented.

President of Association of Ghanaian Students in Morocco, George Akumeah, noted that this is the first time their stipends have been delayed for that long.

He said the Scholarship Secretariat has assured students that government would release their stipends in due course.

“Last week, I even had a communique from the Secretariat that they are tirelessly working on our stipends and I am very hopeful and I believe in their words that hopefully, we will be hearing something great from the Secretariat”.

Ghana’s Ambassador to Morocco, Samuel Jojo Effah-Broni, while confirming the delay in stipends explained that it is a perennial issue. He also attributed the situation to the delay in the passage of the 2022 Budget.

“Most often, their money is part of the Budget that government prepares and most often at the first quarter of every year, there seems to be delay because when the Budget is prepared and approved it has to go through many processes in Parliament, and even as we sit down, even the 2022 Budget is in limbo. So the first quarter is going and we haven’t received their money and that has delayed payment,” he stated.

This notwithstanding, Ambassador Samuel Jojo Effah-Broni said his outfit is liaising with the Scholarship Secretariat for monies to be provided for the students’ stipends.