On Tuesday, some students of Bayelsa State faulted the recent approval and release of bank checks worth N100million to students at the State owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Area of the State, saying that the gesture is deceitful and an insult on the intelligence of the Students in the State.
According to the aggrieved students, under the aegis of Concerned Bayelsa Students, though the gesture of the Governor Seriake Dickson is welcomed at a time the students of the NDU are under going some stress in terms of studying, the issuance of the N100million in Bank checks is a deliberate show of wickedness due to the expensive and harrowing experience students went through during the Bursary verification exercise last year.
The Students, while speaking through Comrade Abiye Garigha of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the action of the State Government are a far cry from the over 5,000 students in various higher institution of learning awaiting bursary payment in the last three years, “why did they ask the students to secure international Passport and engage in verification exercise with opening of Bank account, if such bursary would be paid by checks.”
“We have reviewed the gesture and see that it is a deliberate campaign strategy for the House of Assembly election held in Ammasoma last Saturday. We have over 5,000 students yet to be paid bursary. The last administration, inspite of its shortcomings, was better off in terms of bursary payment. We are consulting and ready for a show down with the present administration over issues of bursary.”
“The release of N100million is meant to cover the current year and those being owed 2012, 2013,2014. This administration is spending 100million in three years, while the last administration spent over N1.5billion in bursary money. The action by Dickson administration is an insult to the intelligence of the people.”
Commenting on the development, the Former members of the Nigerian Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and Senior Special Assistant to Governor Timipre Sylva, Comrade Mike Olomu, said though he is not aware of the grievances of the students, the last administration paid over N1.5billion as payment on bursary to students in the state between 2007 and 2011.
Olomu noted that the Former administration also left over N57.9million in the coffer of the State scholarship Board. The bursary by the last administration covered every Bayelsa students including Doctorate students, Nurses and many others.