By Ajibola Abayomi,
May 14, 2019.
Students under the umbrella of the National Union of Lagos State Students (NULASS) has called on the out-going governor of the state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to effect payment of their bursary allowances before leaving office on May 29, 2019.
The body said its members were yet to fully receive the N683 million claimed to have been released by the state government meant to offset parts of the bursary funds since October 16, 2018.
Addressing the media at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council on Tuesday, the National President of NULASS, Miss Okoya Basirat, stated that the state government only paid 21% of the total number of students who were from the Epe Division of the state alone where the governor hails from since 2017.
‘We are expressing our grievances with the seeming reluctance of the state government to effect payment to all our members in the 2017/18 academic session. We are appalled that rather, the government has been paying haphazardly and selectively.
‘Let us state that the issue of payment of bursary by the state government to students is not in any way a privilege but a right that all indigenous students of Lagos State must enjoy as part of government’s social responsibility.
‘It is unfortunate at this junction that out of the over 10, 586 students who ought to be beneficiaries of the bursary schemes, our findings showed that only 2,106 students had received payments’ she said.
Basirat explained the union had to cry out after several engagements with the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Mudasiru Obasa, House Chairman on Education, Hon Olarenwaju Ogunyemi, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem and Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Fela Bank-Olemoh failed to yield positive steps on the matter.
Urging the Governor not to push over the bursary as debt for his successor and governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Basirat noted that ‘though the current administration has limited time left to handing over to the succeeding one, we are however of the view that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led government would not want to leave this as an outstanding liability for the next government.