ASUU disburses N1m bursary to 14 indigent students in Sokoto

The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) has disbursed N1 million as a bursary allowance to 14 indigent students of Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto (UDUS).

Speaking at the occasion on Wednesday, the ASUU Chairman of the UDUS branch, Prof. Nuraddeen Mustapha, said two students obtained an ASUU national body scholarship award of N200,000 each.

Mustapha said 12 other beneficiaries received N50,000 each from the ASUU UDUS branch to reduce the hardship faced by indigent students and encourage excellence among students.

He said ASUU initiated the bursary scheme in all the state and federal universities, where one person “is entitled to each of the 80 designated institutions in the country.”

He noted that local branches were also allowed to support indigent students within their means.

According to him, this year, the gesture is increased to two students per institution on the national ASUU scheme, while the amount is increased from N100,000 to N200,000, considering the present financial difficulties.

While stressing that the funds were from members’ contributions, the chairman enjoined the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the money to achieve their learning objectives.

Similarly, the chairman said the union was extending support to internally displaced persons (IDPs), where no fewer than 250 people benefited from food in Sokoto State.

He added that ASUU had expended about N25 million in the Northwest States in fulfillment of the gesture, among other supportive programmes.

Mustapha called on citizens to join hands with ASUU to prevail on President Bola Tunibu’s administration to change its students’ loan scheme to students’ grants.

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The chairman observed that “students’ loans are detrimental to individual and collective development because they only benefit investors and subject citizens to the hardship of loan repayment even after death because guarantors must repay the loan collected.”

In his remark, the ASUU Zonal Chairman, Prof. Abubakar Sabo, who was represented by Prof. Faruk Tambuwal, described the gesture as distinct and a form of encouragement to the less-privileged students in the universities.

Tambuwal said ASUU had been pursuing human interest policies in Nigeria, such as good governance, people-friendly policies, and overall national development, “but we were sometimes misunderstood by the citizens.”

The Vice-Chancellor, UDUS, Prof. Lawal Bilbis, represented by Prof. Aminu Muhammad, commended ASUU for the initiative and encouraged them to sustain the tempo.

The VC pledged to sustain the award for any beneficiary who scores 3.5 CGPA above the 3.00 bursary criteria for ASUU, explaining that ASUU’s support was just for one academic session per student.

Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof. Shehu Tsagem, and Students’ Union Government (SUG) Leader, Mr. Abdullahi Sanusi, described the gesture as commendable and appealed to other bodies to emulate ASUU.

A cross-section of benefiting students, Isa Abdurrashid, Jimoke James, Usman Khalid, Fatima Sani, and Solomon Moses, expressed happiness for the support and assured judicious use of the money. (NAN)

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