• Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

N60m Bursary: Akeredolu has failed us —Ondo Students

ByOjuasha

Sep 22, 2020

By: Oluwatosin Adesola

Students in Ondo state under the umbrella of the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS) today registered their displeasure over the failure of the administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to fulfill his promise of disbursing their bursary and scholarship.

Addressing newsmen in Akure, the National President of NAOSS, Kikiowo Ayoade, who spoke at a press briefing in Akure, said previous administrations paid bursaries to students until 2015.

Ayoade stated that his predecessor began successfully registration in 2019 and 6,427 Ondo state students completed their registration.

He said Governor Akeredolu promised to disburse bursary at a meeting with the body in January this year.

“We have waited eight months since we received the promise and yet, no single student of Ondo state has received payment. It is indeed sad to recognize that the whole budget required to pull this off is N60,000,000.

“While we understand the several bottlenecks of running a government, we hold our position that budgeting sixty million for students for over eight months is nothing but overdue.

“Payment for the bursary is overdue and students of Ondo state and their financiers, especially coming off the back of a pandemic, could be greatly relieved, even as some schools gear to resume in the country.”

“Student bursary is a vital dividend of democracy, being one of the direct ways of financially supporting students. This, ingrained in the ethos of governance is religiously practised across several states in the country with some states paying as much as fifty thousand naira to each student.

“In antecedent, this has been the same in Ondo state with a payment of ten thousand naira to each student. However, the last time this payment was made dates back to 2015. Since then, several administrations of the National Association of Ondo State Students have religiously agitated the revival and disbursement of bursary to students, as then it was.

“The closest to this was in 2019 when my predecessor in office successfully moved for the registration of Ondo state students. Statistics from this registration showed that 6,427 Ondo state students out of 14,878 students completed their registration.

“This administration, then, inherited this movement at inception and has actively pursued the payment of bursary since then. In January, we met with the Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, who promised the disbursement of bursary soon. Series of letter was written to the Governor, since our first meeting in January, to officially communicate our plight and the dearth of payment.

“In August, when this promise was yet to be fulfiled, we consulted the Commissioner for Education and the Management of the Scholarship Board. However, all these consultations failed to transition beyond the promise made.

“We have waited eight months since we received the promise and yet, no single student of Ondo state has received payment. It is indeed sad to recognize that the whole budget required to pull this off is sixty million naira(N60,000,000).

“While we understand the several bottlenecks of running a government, we hold our position that budgeting sixty million for students for over eight months is nothing but overdue. Payment for the bursary is overdue and students of Ondo state and their financiers, especially coming off the back of a pandemic, could be greatly relieved, even as some schools gear to resume in the country.

“We call on the Ondo state government, once again, to recommit to the student populace of the state by fulfilling its 8-month old promise of disbursing bursary. We earnestly hope this is done immediately to revive the hope of students in the Arakunrin Akeredolu-administration,” the President said.

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