Borno approves N476 million scholarships to 15,000 students as another strategy to get off ranking as lest educated state in Nigeria

UNESCO report for 2021 placed Borno as lowest in terms of literacy, a situation that compels the state to embark on several rescue efforts including improved bursary scholarships for students

“Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum ¬†had Monday approved and released the sum of N476, 640 million for payment of 2020/2021 scholarship to 15,374 citizens of Borno State in tertiary institutions across the state,” a statement by government officials said.

This good news, which many, including the National Union of Borno state students (NUBOSS) believed would encourage more young people to value the western education and reduce the Boko Haram doctrine, was disclosed by state’s Commissioner for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Babagana Mustapha.

It is also expected that the approved scholarship will encourage more young people to acquire western literacy and improve the very poor educational ranking of the state.

A statement made available to The Humanitarian Times, by Isa Gusau, an Adviser to Governor Banagana Zulum on Media and Strategy, explained that the scholarship approval was made “after a meeting with National Union of Borno State Students (NUBOSS) at the Borno State Scholarship Board.”

The government however disclosed that no more table cash payments would be applied in disbursing the fund, that “e-payments will be applied for the disbursements to all beneficiaries”.

The Executive Secretary scholarship Board Mallam Bala Isa implored benefiting students “to face their studies seriously”. 

President of the NUBOSS, Comrade Sugun Abba was said to have applauded Governor Zulum “for his consistent passion for the welfare of students and commitment towards improving the standard of education in all parts of Borno”.

Borno state has for a long time been listed amongst states whose education rating has remained on the lowest rung; a disturbing situation that was worsened by the advent of Boko Haram. A 2021 report by UNESCO indicates that Borno has 14.5 percent literacy to remain the lowest in Nigeria.

Borno state government, has this year budgeted 1.5 billion (N1,528,450,000.00) for the payment of scholarships to students. The states total budget for the education sector stands at N18 billion – with the ministry of education getting N16.5 billion, while that of Higher Education, Science and Technology gets N1.5 billion as their budgets. The education budget take only about 7.5 per cent of the states N248 billion total budget for 2021.

The State government has also blamed its deplored rating on the 12 years of Boko Haram insurgency that has caused the destruction of 512 schools which consists 2,246 classrooms; and over 500 teachers were either killed or forced to flee the state.”

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