By Adesina Wahab & Olasunkanmi Akoni
Over N1billion set aside by the administration of Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu for bursary and scholarship awards in the 2021 fiscal year for Lagos indigenes in tertiary institutions across the country, has been left untapped fully, it has been revealed.
The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Scholarship Board, Mr Omotayo Fakolujo, stated this while briefing newsmen on the activities of the board since he assumed office.
To ensure that as many students as possible enjoy the opportunity, the Board has started advocacy visits to tertiary institutions within and outside the state.
Also, students in technical colleges are to start benefitting from the awards beginning from the 2021/2022 academic session. Fakolujo, who decried the development among students, noted that the Governor Sanwo-Olu-led administration’s commitment to boosting educational standard among indigenes and residents of the state, could suffer a setback if opportunity like bursary and scholarship awards were not adequately utilised
The ES disclosed that a three-year backlog of N600 million in commitment to 3,720 students was cleared when he assumed office.
According to him: “As part of efforts put in place for the educational advancement of Lagos State in line with the THEMES agenda of Mr Governor for a better and rewarding future for residents irrespective of their status in life, the administration set aside the sum of N1billion for the year 2021, but only N900 million has been expended so far on bursary and scholarship for 8,660 qualified applicants.
“Because of low number of applicants for the scheme, we have continued to record steady fall in allocation to the fund.
“Earlier, we had N2.5 billion earmarked and when eligible applicants were not showing up, it was reduced to N1.5 billion subsequently, and now N1 billion.
“In the last three years, the Lagos State Scholarship Board has been performing well in the areas of sale of forms and the payment of awards.
“In the 2017/2018 session, the total number of students that benefitted from the bursary award was 7,248.
“This figure includes beneficiaries from Law School and Maritime Academy, Oron, Cross River State.
“Each beneficiary received monetary award according to their course of study.
Doctorate students on scholarship get N400,000, Master’s programme – N300,000, bachelor’s degree – N200,000, technical college students – N100,000 and the Board is working to get the money reviewed upward”.
Fakolujo also said a compassionate scholarship scheme had been introduced for students in primary and secondary schools.
Primary school beneficiaries will get N50,000 and those in secondary school will get N80,000.
He expressed delight that some of the beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme in universities are doing well, adding, “we will soon honour 40 of them that are in first-class category in their schools.”