Pay Us Our Bursary Allowance, Gombe Students Plead With Dankwambo
BEVERLY HILLS, January 26, (THEWILL) – Gombe State Students Association (GOSA), an association of students of Gombe State origin, said its members studying in different institutions across the country are not finding life easy on their campuses due to the financial straights they have found themselves.
The association is therefore calling on the state government to pay the students the arrears of their bursary allowance. According to them, over 180, 000 students are currently deprived of the state government's assistance of N8, 000 per student annually.
The association made the appeal weekend in Gombe, the state capital, at a media briefing held at the secretariat of Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Gombe. Maintaining that they would have embarked on a protest march to the Government House but had to rescind because of the security situation in the state currently.
Speaking on behalf of the students, their spokesperson, Mustapha Usman Hassan, noted that Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo had only paid the bursary allowance to the students only once since he assumed office four years ago. Dankwambo had also promised to increase the scholarship from N8, 000 to N16, 000 but the promise has not been fulfilled.
According to Hassan, who is the National Financial Secretary of GOSA, several meetings with the Principal Private Secretary to the Governor, Sani Jauro, Chief of Staff Ahmed Yayari, Secretary to the State Government, Sule Bage and the Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Isah Wade, on the matter have yielded no results.
The students maintained that scholarships need to be paid to alleviate their suffering in their various institutions across the country.
“We are appealing to the government to look into this matter with the urgency it deserves. We have done our best, we have gone to the Ministry for Higher Education, from where the Commissioner took us to the Accountant General, who also took us to the Government House severally but up till now, we are yet to achieve our aims, as nothing has changed,” Hassan said.
According to him, “We have about 180,000 students languishing in various institutions across the nation. About 120, 000 others have just applied. Some of these students rely on the scholarship to be able to do their registration. So we are begging the Governor to please pay us. ”
Also speaking at the media briefing, Public Relations Officer of the association, Mubarak Abubakar, said they had sent 10 different letters to the Government House, between February and December, 2014 to lodge their complaints . He said their plan of paying a courtesy visit to the governor was also rebuffed.
“We just want the government to pay us the N8, 000 we are used to; we don't want anything more. Gombe State pays the least scholarship, our colleagues in other states pay more. Borno pays N20, 000, Kano pays N30, 000 and Lagos pays N60, 000, Dankwambo should please pay us just the old rate. We are not asking for anything more,” he said.