The National Union of Adamawa State Students has lamented the failure of the state government to make payment of scholarships to over 50,000 Adamawa students studying in various tertiary institutions across the country.
The National President of the union, Gaddafi Hussaini, expressed his misgiving about what he described as the government’s swindling of over 50,000 students who were made to purchase scholarship forms from officials of the state scholarship board.
Hussaini alleged that the officials led the students to believe that they would be enrolled into the state bursary scheme, which was yet to materialise.
He added that the state government also allegedly raked in over N25 million from the purchase of bursary forms sold at the cost of N500 to over 50,000 prospective scholarship seekers, who are indigenes of the state.
The disclosure was made on Saturday at a town hall meeting, with the theme, ‘Repositioning Adamawa For Sustainable Development Beyond 100 Days’ organised by Gotel Communication in Yola.
Panellists at the stakeholders meeting that included the Head of the Adamawa State Civil Service, Dr. Edgar Amos and renowned professor of Mass Communication, Umar Pate, among others, spoke on the need for the state government to adequately harness its youthful resource by prioritising education and human capital development for the growth and advancement of the state.
They also urged the development of the capacities of the youth through mentorship to prepare them for leadership.
But Hussaini lamented the neglect of students studying in various tertiary institutions across the country by past governments in the state.
He said there had not been bursary awards to support students in form of scholarship for nearly seven years. Instead, he added, the students were being short-changed by the government.
He explained that Jibrilla Bindow administration, which promised to look into the challenges facing the students, had offered to resume the payment of bursary awards to indigenous students of the state through the scholarship board.
He said officials from the board swung into action and launched the sales of scholarship forms at the time, which allegedly was subscribed to over 50,000 student prospective scholarship seekers.
The student leader added that the government, which raked in over N25m through the sales of the scholarship forms process, eventually failed to pay the bursary as promised.
He said, “ We purchased forms at the cost of N500 and these forms were purchased by more than 50,000 students, but the process adopted by the previous government to pay the bursary randomly is yet to materialise, even though it raked in over N25 million from and ended up swindling the students in the process.”
However, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, stated at the event that the state under his administration had in the last 100 days taken giant strides in education and security.
The Secretary to the Adamawa State Government, Ahmad Bashir, who represented Fintiri at the event, noted that the administration had made frantic efforts in the areas of security and education to reverse the all the negative narratives about the socio-economic development of the state.
He said, ‘’The Fintiri administration has prioritised education and security. If education is the only area where the administration will gain recognition at the end of its four years contract with the people, so be it. We are committed to reversing all the negative narratives.’’