By Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
The Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Thursday said his administration gave priority to awarding scholarship to students from low income families so as to ensure fairness to residents of the state.
Tambuwal made the assertion at a farewell reception organised for 100 students, who were awarded scholarships to undergo various degree programmes in medicine and other medical-related courses in India.
He maintained that most of the beneficiaries of the scholarship were mainly from economically disadvantaged families.
Tambuwal emphasised that the state scholarship board did their best by conducting a transparent examination, screening and interview, after which the awardees were selected.
The governor dispelled insinuations the making the rounds that it was mainly the children of politicians and top public civil servants that benefited from the scholarship.
“We decided not to interfere in the activities of the state scholarship board by ensuring that most beneficiaries come from poor families.
“In fact, all the awardees were selected from each of the 23 local government areas of the state. So, it is not true that children of politicians benefited from the scholarship scheme but only qualified candidates were selected, “he said.
He explained that out of the 100 students, 50 were females which clearly demonstrated the administration’s commitment to girl-child education in the state.
Tambuwal posited that government accorded priority to sponsoring students to undergo medical courses in India with a view to addressing inadequate manpower in the health sector in the state.
According to him, “We are facing shortage of doctors and other medical personnel in the health sector and that is why we gave priority to sponsoring medical students.
“We expect that by the time these female students complete their studies in India and become doctors, they will be able to cater for female patients in our hospitals.”
He disclosed that the state government had already settled tuition fees for indigenes studying in Baze University, Abuja.
Tambuwal admonished the students to be good ambassadors of the state and refrain from any acts capable of tarnishing the image of the country.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the state Scholarship Board, Alhaji Altine Shehu Kajiji, said the students would undergo degree programmes in Medicine, Radiology, Biotechnology and Nursing, among others.