By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowopejo
THE Lagos State Government yesterday, presented a sum of N98,715,400.00 as bursary allowances to 3,326 indigent students ofÂ the state in various higher institutions across the country for 2008/09.
These categories of students are the first set of awardees to receive the new bursary values of N20,000.00, N30,000.00, N40,000.00, N50,000.00.
Presenting the cheques to the awardees, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Elijah Adewale, said the bursary was introduced to encourage the youths in the state to attain academic excellence.
According to him, the state government had spent over N319 million on bursaries while over N562 million had also been spent on local and foreign scholarships in the last tow years.
He stated that besides the general bursary allowance for indigent students, the government had also approved increase in bursary values for students at Law School, architectural, pharmacy and pharmacology.
He said currently, the bursary allowance of Law students from the state had been increased from N40,000 to N200,000, adding that the government had since approved over N37 million to pay 188 Law school students.
â€œTo further encourage our youths and to recognise brilliant academic performance, this administration introduced merit award scholarship to all indigenes in tertiary institutions of learning with 4.0 Grade Point. These first sets of beneficiaries who are 21 are currently receiving their cheques. A sum of N4,200,000.00 was approved at N200,000.00 per awardee.
Commending Governor Babatunde Fashola for his dedication and commitment to the yearnings of the youths, Adewale said: â€œIn an effort to continue to provide functional scholarship awards in the state, the administration requires the support, cooperation and prayers of all the people as well as pay your taxes as at when due, as it is the only way for government to have enough money to provide necessary services to the people.â€
According to him, the first sets of beneficiaries, 21 of them, have so far received their cheques of over N4 million with each beneficiary collecting N200,000.
Earlier in her opening speech, Secretary of the State Scholarship Board, Mrs. Kudirat Odewale,Â called on private sector to assist government in giving scholarship to deserving students.
She also called on Lagos residents to pay their taxes, saying their taxes would contribute immensely to the growth of education in the state.