28 years after, Ajimobi awards N100m scholarship/bursary to Oyo students
Twenty-eight years after scholarship awards were last awarded in Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Tuesday presented a total of N100 million to the students of the state origin in tertiary institutions across the country for year 2011/2012.
Both the students and the parents who were present at the House of Chiefs, venue of the ceremony, were overwhelmed as the governor presented a symbolic cheque of N100 million to representatives of the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries of the bursary/scholarship awards included final year students of universities and polytechnics, post-graduate students from tertiary institutions, both in Nigeria and overseas, as well as those from aviation colleges.
While presenting the cheque, Governor Ajimobi described the occasion as memorable as this was the first time that bursary awards would be given to students in the state in the last 28 years.
This, he said, was a demonstration of his administration's high level of commitment to positively changing the face of education in the state and giving the proverbial dividends of democracy to all the citizens of the state.
“Without mincing words, no nation can hope to make any meaningful progress without sound and qualitative education,'' the governor said, quoting Martin Luther King who posited that 'If you want to keep a man in perpetual slavery, do not give him education'.
According to him, the pivotal role of education in the development of any nation cannot be over-emphasized, stressing “it is with this premise in mind that the state government, under the present administration, has always made the education of our children a high priority. We have touched every local government area with meaningful and pupil-oriented projects.
Aside the renovation of about 1,600 dilapidated primary and secondary school buildings, Governor Ajimobi said that his administration had procured 20,000 pieces of furniture to the schools.
Notable efforts, he said, were also being made towards making the schools environment students-friendly and that workers and teachers' welfare were placed on the front burner of government's priorities.
The governor said apart from the fact that education was free at both primary and secondary school levels in the state, his administration had also deemed it fit to sustain the establishment of the State Scholarship Board through the provision of adequate funding so as to make it functional.
“Our raison deter was to properly situate the board and make it effective in cushioning the harsh effects of the rising cost of education in all our tertiary institutions, a burden always carried by the parents,'' he said.
While congratulating the awardees, Governor Ajimobi charged them to pay back to the society more than they had taken from the society, saying “to whom much is given, much is expected''.
One of the beneficiaries, Muili Olanrewaju Taofeek, a post-graduate student of Petroleum Geo-Science from Manchester University, United Kingdom, who spoke on behalf of others, expressed gratitude to the governor for giving them the opportunity to attain their potentials through the awards.