National Union of Lagos State Students (NULASS) has pleaded with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to, as a matter of urgency, clear outstanding bursary and scholarship arrears of over N542 million
NULASS, in a statement, signed by its National President, Okoya Basirat Bisola and Senate President, Adeyemi GreatHall, said it remained an embarrassment that Lagos State which is endowed with sufficient financial resources and a centre of excellence was struggling to meet up with its financial commitments to deserving students.
The union said, though, it was satisfied with the acknowledgement and response of Sanwo-Olu in respect of a letter of appeal submitted to his office on June 13, 2019, but that they want him to match words with action
‘‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them and can only plead that the finishing touches, which is approval and disbursement of the needed funds, be fast tracked.
“Lagos is a blessed state and we believe it should have more than enough to conveniently pay our bursaries and scholarships, hence our dismay at where we are now,’’ the students’ leadership said.
Given a further breakdown of the arrears, Okoya explained that number of beneficiaries stands at 10,585 students amounting to N688,400,512 million out of which N145,722,876 was paid to 2,106 students as at February 14,2019, leaving the government with an arrears of N542,677,634 for 8,479 beneficiaries.
‘‘So far, this administration has started on the right track by placing premium on infrastructure, especially road rehabilitation, security and youth empowerment, but as much as we appreciate the premium being placed on security of the citizens, we believe it is equally fair to place priority on the youths who are law-abiding and innocent to dissuade them from crime.
“This money might be stipends to some people; it is what others depend on to complete their studies because depriving them of the same will be counter-productive. These funds have gone a long way in keeping a lot of indigent students away from crime and it is one of social security that we use as a reference point for those who regard Lagos a No Man’s land,” he said.