Some students of the University of Ilorin have accused the Chairman of the Kwara state Scholarship Board, Hon Isiaka Magaji, of corruption and extortion, describing the deduction of N500 out of the N5000 bursary awards as ‘illegal and the height of insensitivity.”
The students, who protested the alleged extortion when the Chairman visited the University permanent site to access the disbursement of the funds, insisted that the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed, did not authorize the deduction. They alleged that the deducted money is going to the private pockets of the Chairman and few staffer of the board as well as some ‘compromised’ students leaders in the state.
But a source close to the Board’s Chairman discreetly informed E-kwara that the deducted money is shared between the National Associatio of Kwara State Students (NAKSS) and the designated banks.
Curiously, E-kwara observed that the fund was not being disbursed through the banks as each beneficiary receives his or her own stipend by hand.
In an interview with E-Kwara campus correspondent, a 200 level student of Mass Communications, Master Hameed Esiniobiwa, bemoaned what he called the ‘insensitivity’ of the Kwara state government to the plight of its indigent students, describing the N5000 cash hand-out as ‘grossly inadequate.” He therefore wondered why the Scholarship Board would ‘ever deduct from such a stipend, when its Chairman should know that the total amount in itself is nothing to write home about.”
Another student who spoke to E-Kwara under a condition of anonymity, berated the Board for slating the disbursement date during the exams period of the University. He claimed the clash of the date is not a mere coincidence but a decision deliberately arrived at to disenfranchise a lot of Kwara students from enjoying the bursary awards.
“Why would they fix the disbursement of the bursary to the same time most of us have either finished exams and left for our respective homes or are presently busy with exams? Who takes the rest of the undisbursed funds? Is this not a deliberate way of reducing the numbers of the claimants so that they could all share the rest of the unclaimed money? Honestly, somebody has to look into this issue”, he angrily retorted.
It will be recalled that the Kwara State Scholarship Board commenced the disbursement of the bursary funds on Wednesday, 26th February, 2014 three weeks after the University of Ilorin officially commenced its examination. This clash of date has affected some students from benefiting from the funds. A case in point are majority of law students of the university who have finished their exams and have therefore left the university for their homes.
Meanwhile, E-Kwara correspondent reported that although the disbursement process has been going on since then without hitches, the perennial problem of missing names and unruly behavior of the students still surfaced in the process of the disbursement.