The Kaduna State Government has approved N524.12 million for the payment of scholarship to its students in tertiary institutions.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai said this at the inauguration of the state’s Merit and Needs Based Local Scholarship programme on Wednesday in Kaduna.
He said that the money was the tuition fees of the students paid to their institutions across Nigeria until graduation.
The governor said that the state inherited a scholarship system, which students received between N10,000 and N20,000 per annum, which was inadequate to meet their needs.
He said the administration decided to review the system and revamp it to ensure that only those who merited sponsorship benefited.
According to him, the scholarship is no longer automatic, but only for students who really deserve it.
Mr El-Rufai explained that for those not considered, the government had come up with a loan scheme for them to finance their education.
“They can now pay over time.
“Between April 2019 to February 2022 under new Kaduna state scholarship and loans board, 6,858 students benefited from N675 million the board paid out under the state bursary scheme.
“All the beneficiaries were paid N109,000 per session which is much better than what was being paid previously,” he added.
He said the government had disbursed N819 million through the education loan scheme to 509 beneficiaries for their tuition and upkeep.
According to him, the government’s educational strategy provides equal opportunity for all by providing free and compulsory primary and secondary school education for the first 12 years of schooling.
He added that the two scholarship programmes were to enable all students to access funds for their tertiary education within and outside the country.
The governor said that the government had a new education bill awaiting enactment by the State House of Assembly, under which the state would have an Education Endowment Fund.
He said once passed into law, the fund would be managed by a board of trustees independent of government.
According to him, they will also provide for the prosecution of parents who’s children are not in school.
“Any child found roaming the streets will be traced to his parents or guardians and they will be prosecuted.
“There is no reason for a child within 12 years of free education will be roaming the streets,” the governor added.
In his remarks, Mr Hassan Rilwan, the Executive Secretary of the state scholarship and loans Board, said from the N524.12 million approved by government, three state-owned tertiary institutions would get N219 million for 1,251 students.
“While Kaduna State University will be paid N158.53 million for 755 students, Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, will be receiving N33.45 million for 317 students.
“Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic is receiving N27.6 million for 179 students.
“It may interest you to note that of the 1,251 beneficiaries, 534 students were got from the State Social Register.
“The processing of other students within and outside the state-owned tertiary institutions will commence in August,” he said.
Aliyu Suleiman and Jacinta Joseph, both student of Kaduna state university, who were beneficiaries, appreciated the government for the opportunity given them to pursue their education.
By the people’s abd for the people