Okowa Pressures State Scholarship Board To Terminate Uduaghan’s 1st Class Graduate Scholarship Scheme, Dashes Hope Of 233 Deltans

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In his habitual way of discrediting his predecessor’s policies, Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has succeeded in pressuring the State Bursary And Scholarship Board, to finally terminate the 1st Class Graduate Scholarship Scheme which was given birth to by former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan led administration, HardReporters can authoritatively report.

The termination which has dashed the hope of about 233 MSc and PhD Delta students studying under the scheme in various institutions across the globe, was one of the big achievements of the Uduaghan’s administration which was given unprecedented attention and accepted by all Deltans.

It would be recalled that the Delta State 1st Class Scholarship Scheme was initiated by the Uduaghan’s administration in 2010 with the aim of training indigenous first class graduates up to MSc and PhD levels in topnotch research based universities in the world and since the initiation of the programme it was reliably gathered that, over 100 Delta state first class graduates have benefitted from the scheme.

Former governor Uduaghan in a group photography with the first batch of the 1st Class Graduates of the scheme already terminated by Governor Okowa

ALSO READ: Gov. Okowa Scraps Uduaghan’s First Class Scholarship Scheme, Abandons Scholarship Students In Overseas Universities

However, immediately the Uduaghan led administration ended, the scheme began to experience series of set back from the incumbent governor Ifeanyi Okowa led administration because of lack of interest, leading to the scrapping of the scheme before mounting pressures on the board to terminate and laid it to final rest.

In a letter of termination titled “Suspension Of 1st Class Graduate Scholarship Scheme” with Ref No DT/SB/611T2/52, signed by Comrade Elijah Ologe, Executive Secretary, Delta State Bursary And Scholarship Board, and obtained by HardReporters, gave prevailing economic situation bedeviling the state as its excuse of stopping the scheme.

The letter which read in parts said:

“I wish to convey the Boards’ resolution as it pertain to the 1st Class Graduate Scholarship Scheme, that due to the prevailing economic situation bedeviling the state, the scheme is hereby suspended. The Board is however aware of the fact that, most beneficiaries solely rely on this Scholarship for the payment of their tuition and other fees.

“Notwithstanding, the Board has to lay bare the plight of the state government as it can no longer cater for the scheme as a result of the financial downturn in the state. We regret any inconveniences this action may cause you. Signed by Comrade Elijah Ologe, Executive Secretary.”

A copy of the letter that terminated the Scheme

A member of the board who spoke with our correspondent on the phone, said, the termination of the scheme followed pressure mounted on the board by the governor.

“Governor Okowa gave paucity of funds as an excuse but the truth is that he’s not interested in the programme which was conceived by predecessor. It will not cost the state much to continue with the programme. In recent times, the state has received several billions of naira but were channelled to other private activities. The governor is busy amassing wealth for his second tenure hence he’s doesn’t want to release fund.

“Few weeks ago, retirees protested over their entitlements. The governor is not bothered about anything. Even here in the board we are been strangulated with the same excuse of recession and economic situation meanwhile, Okowa and his men are busy amassing wealth. We all know that the state has money but in the hands of few persons close to the governor especially his relations and cronies. Its unfortunate.” the board member lamented.

Our correspondent reported that Governor Okowa had during his 2017 quarterly media interaction with Journalists in May at the press center, government house, Asaba, made it clear that government was no longer interested in the programme because of shortage of funds.

“Yes, it was a programme we met on ground but we are sorry to say, that the state government can no longer continue with that programme because of the current economic crunch.” Okowa stated.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It is a shame that the Delta State government cannot keep to its word. What is then expected of students who are solely dependent on the scholarship? Are they expected to drop out?

  2. Few years ago,first class graduates were offered this scholarship by the State government to study up to ph. D level. Many of them had to resign from their lucrative jobs to study abroad in line with State government’s agenda. After much sacrifices in terms of many years of burning the midnight candle, enduring adverse whether condition in foreign lands, selling personal properties to augment government stipend, leaving families and friends, among other things, their scholarship was suspended abruptly at the verge of graduation. This traumatic to say the least!
    It is surprising that even states like Kaduna, Sokoto and Lagos initiated scholarship schemes this year, while Delta State with 13 percent derivation, large allocation from federation account and third largest Paris club refund among the 36 States of the federation is citing paucity of funds as the reason for scholarship suspension. The pertinent questions are: had it been governor’s son is an awardee, would he have suspended the programme? Is rewarding reality show winner more important than education? I therefore advise government to rescind its decision to suspend the scholarship in the interest of Delta State education and posterity.

  3. This was silent for over 2 years and scholars kept calling to ask for the way forward. The Government and the Board kept having one reason and excuse or the other. I know scholars who had to start looking for menial jobs to do because a government that gave its word could not keep to it. Some even left after their Msc when the government issued a letter to sponsor them until their PhD. Yet the State has funds for parties and events.
    If his children were in the scheme would he have ended it with this short notice?

  4. This is an unwise move by Gov. Okowa. What has he done with refunds from the Paris club? He has shown himself to be a callous person and is undeserving of a second term.

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