Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Kwara State government has announced that it has increased the bursary of it’s students across the country’s tertiary institutions from N100 million inherited from the immediate-past administration to N200 million in the revised budget just passed by the State House of Assembly.
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq stated this in Ilorin during a meeting with the state chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at the Government House, Ilorin.
The student leaders were led by the President, Adebayo Olosasa. Addressing the students, Abdulrasaq said the payments would be made directly to individual beneficiaries based on an online database already being generated by the Ministry of Education.
“Now, we are insisting on disbursement of bursary directly to the students. The reason for that is that when I looked at the social investment programme of the federal government- money market, N-Power and trader money – I noticed that every beneficiary was getting their money because it was direct alert to them.
“But the federal government’s other intervention project like rice and cassava hardly got anywhere because some people were just diverting it. So I don’t want students’ money being diverted.
“And I am also surprised that we don’t have a database for students. There should be a database which the ministry of education is now doing. It is on the basis of having database that they can disburse to the students directly.
“That database, once it is robust and interactive, will be shared with the students and unions across all institutions. With this, student unions can even hold elections online. That is e-governance, that is where we are going to. We are not going to wait for the world to leave us behind.”
The governor also promised to ensure that students are carried along on issues affecting them, urging them to shun hard drugs and other habits that could be inimical to their future.
In his remarks, the NANS president commended the governor for his giant strides in the education sector and other areas since his inauguration and called on the administration to pay more attention to the needs of students across the state.
He appealed to the governor to revive the practice of giving subvention and operational buses to student bodies as practised by the late former Governor Mohammed Lawal.
Olosasa commended AbdulRazaq for the nomination of Miss Joanna Kolo and appealed to him to consider appointing one of the student leaders, “who understands our situation” as Special Assistant on Student Matters.
Meanwhile, the state government will spend at least N100 million to renovate the State Library Complex and use it as a launchpad for e-learning and temporary headquarters for its innovation hub.
The governor said the renovation work would begin soon as part of his efforts to reposition the state education sector and prepare the youths for a brighter future built on innovative skills and opportunities to be among the best in the country.
Abdulrasaq stated this in Ilorin while receiving the leaders of NANS at the Government House.
According to him, “we are going to have an innovation hub here. I have recently visited the state library and it is in a bad situation. The books are not up-to-date and the roof is leaking. The whole place is decrepit.
“So we are going to spend N100 million to fix it. Once it is fixed, we will begin our innovation hub there as temporary site. We will get some space there for e-learning process with free internet access so that people can go and do what they need to do.”