By Anthony Arugba
The National Association of Delta State Students, NADESSTU, yesterday, called on the Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, to probe the Delta State Bursary and Scholarship Board’s expenditure due to the suspension of the 2015/2016 bursary payment.
In an open letter addressed to the governor and made available to our correspondent, the National President of NADESSTU, Comr. Agolo Samson, said that the board claimed that it was due to paucity of funds that the payment was put on hold.
The letter read in part : ” Ordinarily Your Excellency, I would have loved to make the issues herein private until I meet with you officially, however, upon many unsuccessful attempts to see you, following the pressing and urgent need to quell tension, I have decided to write you openly and bring to your notice some issues rocking the students’ community in the state.
” Following earlier payments made to beneficiaries of the bursary scheme, we are not oblivious of the fact that funds have been made available for this exercise, but what we do not understand is why payments would cease at a time when fresh registration ought to have been concluded.
” In the history of Bursary payments in Delta State, what we are witnessing today is the most complicated, obscure and cunning process ever. In recent times, we have recorded the lowest registration of students, yet we experience the most delayed payment procedure.
“Sequel to series of calls put across from different quarters to the National secretariat of NADESSTU about the perceived misappropriation of public funds and mismanagement of finance released for payment purposes huge enough to pay students, we are disappointed to hear that the Bursary and Scholarship Board has stopped payment due to lack of funds.
“We do not want to believe that the amount expended on the process of verification should be higher than the funds set aside for payment purposes as this seems to be the situation. We are convinced that a good percentage of the bursary funds was spent on frivolities and not for the actual bursary payments.
“It is on this note that we call on the Governor of Delta State, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, to, as a matter of necessity and urgency, set up a probe panel to investigate and clinically audit the entire accounts of the Delta State Bursary and Scholarship Board.”