The Kaduna State Government says it will spend N4.7 billion on local and foreign scholarships in 2020 and is presently sponsoring 107 students on various courses in foreign universities.
This was contained in a statement issued by Hassan Rilwan, Executive Secretary of the state Scholarship and Loans Board, and made available to newsmen on Thursday in Kaduna.
He said the state was paying bursaries to 7,598 students, out of whom 4,400 had already been paid.
The executive secretary further said students on state scholarship were currently studying in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Cuba.
He listed some of them as Abba Dauda Maitala who won a scholarship of N15 million to study a Masters’ programme on Cybersecurity at the Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom.
“Ahmad Musa won a scholarship of N28.8 million for a Ph.D. in Transgenic Seeds Generation and Leaf Starch Granule Regulation for Biodegradable Polymers at the University of Potsdam, Germany.
“Sharif Ahmad Habibu won a scholarship of N9.8 million for a Ph.D at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.”
According to him, the commitment of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai government to human capital development is reflected in the N4.7 billion earmarked for scholarships in 2020.
“With this huge allocation, the Kaduna state government is set to offer local and foreign scholarships and disburse bursaries to more students through a transparent process,’’ Mr Rilwan said.
The executive secretary explained that the board also manage a students’ loan scheme and have a current funding of N2 billion.
“Citizens of Kaduna state who are government officials, self-employed or in the private sector can access up to N5 million for themselves or their children for both foreign and local education once they provide two guarantors who must be state or federal civil servants.’’
According to him, the state provides a counterpart fund of N1 billion to bring down the interest on the loan to 8% per annum, adding that the government would overtime, reduce the interest.
Mr Rilwan emphasised that the scheme was opened to all students from the state irrespective of their social background.
“An automated cycle has been established that ensures timely and orderly vetting, selection and payments of scholarships and bursaries,’’ he assured.
The executive secretary noted that the automated system had eradicated human interface and ensured that only the most qualified in terms of merit and need got funding.