The verification and biometric exercise of students of Delta State origin benefiting from the State Students Assistance (Bursary) Scheme, has led to the discovery of about 8,141 ghost students who benefited immensely from the scheme during the government of the former governor of the state, Emmanuel Uduaghan.
The verification and biometric exercise of students of the State origin under the scheme was ordered by Ifeayin Okowa when he assumed duty as governor of the state.
Briefing journalists after the State Executive Council Meeting at Government House, Asaba on Tuesday, Patrick Ukah, Jude Sinebe and Elijah Ologe, the State Commissioners for Information, Higher Education and the Executive Secretary, Scholarship Board, respectively, explained that the verification exercise has brought down the number of beneficiaries to 31,859 from over 40,000.
They assured that the Ifeayin Okowa-led administration is poised to clean up the Scheme of all shady and fraudulent practices, adding that the verification exercise was ongoing and subsequent payments would be based on the verified and realistic figure of students obtained by the Scholarship Board.
The Commissioners also disclosed that the state government would blacklist students and institutions involved in sharp practices and shady deals in the Student Special Assistance Scheme (Bursary), just as they urged the National Association of Delta State Students (NADESSTU) to cooperate with government in the verification exercise to rid the scheme of sharp practices.
According to them, the State’s Executive Council also approved the revalidation of the approval of N400 million for the payment of 2013/2014 bursary award to 31,859 who have been verified and confirmed as students of the state origin in higher institutions and are on the list of the Scholarship Board.
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