… As NANS, NULASS Leaders Debunk Rumour of Protest Plans
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has approved an increment of 100% on bursary payable to the students of Lagos State origin in tertiary institutions across the country with effect from the 2022/2023 academic session.
Executive Secretary, Lagos State Scholarship Board, Mr. Abdul-Rahaman Lekki disclosed this at a meeting with representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Lagos State Chapter and National Union of Lagos State Students (NULASS) at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
Lekki, speaking at the meeting held at the instance of the Special Adviser on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, with executive members of NANS and NULAS, said the 100% bursary increment and other benefits were aimed at supporting the educational needs of students of Lagos State origin towards coping with the present economic reality.
He explained that the State Government, at the just concluded Economic Summit, tagged: “Ehingbeti”, had also approved the resolutions on the establishment of Lagos Diaspora Scholarship Funds geared towards providing scholarship and bursary benefits for all Lagos State resident students in tertiary institutions in any part of the country.
While appealing to the students to be patient over the recent delay in the payment of the remaining 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 bursary/scholarship benefits, the Board Secretary explained that the interruption was caused by the ongoing data cleansing/verification exercise across all institutions by the State Government to ensure that only qualified students of the Lagos State origin benefit from the scheme.
He averred that the Board, through the ongoing verification and data cleansing exercise, has already discovered that some people who are not indigenes or students of any higher institution were benefiting from the scheme at the expense of the targeted students of the State.
The Board Secretary assured that prompt payment of both bursary and scholarship benefits for the outstanding years would commence immediately after the completion of the exercise, adding that students of the Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET) would soon receive their outstanding payments for 2020/2021 academic year as the Management had completed the exercise and forwarded the list of its authentic students to the Board.
He equally revealed that the Board had scheduled an assessment test for fresh beneficiaries for the year 2022/23 scholarship benefit for 29th October, 2022, noting that necessary details have been sent out to all qualified applicants via text messages and emails.
While allaying the students’ fear that the State Government was planning to stop the scheme, Lekki revealed that there was no basis to stop the scheme since there is provision for it in the State budget, adding that the year 2023 Budget of the State Government had captured the new increments and other benefits to make life more bearable for students in their studies.
Responding, the Presidents of NANS and NULASS, Olusesi Tolulope and Shasanya Akinola respectively, dispelled the rumour that their members plan to block the Third Mainland Bridge in protest over the delay in the disbursement of outstanding benefits for the 2020/2021 and 2021/22 academic sessions, noting that their members have absolute confidence in Governor Sanwo-Olu to fulfill his promises.
They stated that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had not only demonstrated commitment to the growth of education in the State through various reforms but had also ensured prompt and seamless payment of both scholarship and bursary benefits in the past.
Commending Mr. Governor for the payments of all the backlogs inherited by his administration, the student leaders urged their members to embrace dialogue to press home their demands while shunning all forms of violence or acts inimical to the peace and harmony prevailing in the state.