By Khalid Yusuf Tebo
I am an indigene of Yobe state. I was among the beneficiaries of Yobe state scholarship bursaries from 2014 to 2020. I was paid for three sessions throughout my school days at the university. It is a government tradition in my state to pay students’ tuition fees since from the time of late Mamman Bello Ali (MAL), a former governor who pioneered the programmme. Unfortunately, the board is unable to pay the students bursaries every year and, on time.
Apparently, this scholarship is a motivation towards helping the students acquire their education across different tertiary institutions of learning in Nigeria and abroad. In addition, this monetary reward reduces the burden on parents who cannot support their children to earn an education in the state, especially the poor.
Nevertheless, YSSB had recently published a reminder on their Facebook page about the 2020/2021 session payment. As regards, I hope the board is aware of the hardship in the country and the situation in which students of the state are facing daily at schools. Of course, this is not to update the general public about the issue of payment only, as the board used to do in our days without a positive outcome. Obviously, it is about paying the students bursaries on time every year.
I can remember receiving my last payment in 2020 on a table instead of via my bank account as exercised by the board. I suffered a lot before I was paid my 2018/2019 bursary. I went to the board three times and paid transport for every trip from Maiduguri where I schooled and later from Potiskum to Damaturu. Some of my friends were studying in neighbouring states; they too faced the same problem.
According to the board, a technical problem was encountered, and the beneficiaries provided incorrect details and account numbers. While to my knowledge, I provided the correct details and most of the students too, I believe. But, as an economist, I don’t play with anything related to money, especially scholarship. So, last year, it took the board more than a year to pay a few students their bursaries.
As usual, the tradition in previous administrations is not like that, even though they skipped payment of bursaries than regularly. But, in Buni’s administration, students face a severe problem in their education than at any other time. Yet, Yobe is the only state that declared an emergency on education and is still among the states with the highest number of out-of-school children.
Therefore, I am calling the attention of YSSB to avoid such problems encountered in the past. An unconfirmed source said the problem was due to corruption. Anyway, one of the only sources of happiness for students is scholarship in Yobe state. Unfortunately, the government cannot employ graduates in civil service and areas of business. Lastly, I am appealing to the board to pay the students every year on time and encourage the students to be the ambassadors of the state in all tertiary institutions of learning.
May Yobe and YSSB succeed!
Khalid Yusuf Tebo is an economist and activist. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.