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Lagos students lament non-payment of bursaries



•Give Ambode seven-day ultimatum
•Govt dismisses threat, promises to pay soon

Stdents of Lagos State origin in various parts of the country have lamented the non-payment of their 2016/2017 bursaries.

They made the protest under the aegis of the National Union of Lagos State Students (NULASS) and the National Association of Nigerian Students’ (NANS) Joint Campus Committee (JCC).

This was contained in a statement by the NULASS National President, Daniju Sultan and NANS JCC Chairman, Lagos State, Moses Samson Adewale.

The students, who stated that they had never been paid the dues without protest, gave Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, seven days ultimatum to pay the schorlarships.

They threatened to hit the streets if Ambode does not act urgently on the matter by the end of Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, affirmed that the students were yet to collect their bursaries.

He said: “We do not recognise any ultimatum because there is no need for it. We are committed to the education and wellbeing of our people. The director of Lagos State Scholarship Board had met and briefed the students. We don’t owe, there is no backlog, the bursary is for this year and they would be paid before the end of this month. So disregard any body trying to foment trouble in the system.”

The students added: “Your excellency, we are compelled to notify you of our resolution to hit the streets of Lagos and cause peaceful civil disobedience in protest against the non-payment of our bursary dues for all indigenes in various higher institutions across the country.

“Our resolve to protest after the seven-days ultimatum is not unconnected with the silence of the state government to communicate to us when the beneficiaries would be paid.

“In the past months, we have exhibited the highest level of civility. We wish to state here that our correspondence has attracted no favourable response from the government. We are embarrassed that since the inception of this administration, we had never received our bursary without having to protest across the state. Since protest is the language the state respects, we shall be doing same to lawfully demand the payment in the most civil way.”

They explained that N650million was approved for education by the state House of Assembly, as part of the jubilee budget presented by the governor.

They expressed concern that the government had not paid them, even as the 2017 fiscal year is drawing to an end.

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