An Open Letter To The Executive Governor Of Borno State – Hon. Kashim Shettima
Re: The Payment Of Students Scholarship Allowances (Approved On 4th April, 2015)
With much respect and honour, I write to present to you the marginalization and unfair treatment and most importantly the fear of the thousands of Borno state students studying in Federal Institutions and other Institutions under your auspices.
Sir, it’s no longer news that in your speech preceding your emergence as governor re-elect of Borno state, precisely on 29th May, 2015 you declare a State of Emergency on Education in Borno state and you have since your assumption of office, taken major steps towards ensuring success of the education sector.
It is in this direction that I want to express how discontented we are with the actions and inaction of the Borno State Ministry of Higher Education through the State Scholarship Board.
Sir, I’m writing through this medium because all efforts to get to you proved abortive due to your busy schedules you always have. But I’m sure, this will get to you through your aides whom you have appointed to serve you interfacing with the people through the Social Media in persons of Isa Gusau, Usman Majidadi Kumo, Yusuf Usman Shettima and others. Our hope is that this letter will get to you on time and in good condition so that you will be aware of the way our students loose their admission because they can’t afford to pay their registration fees.
Your Excellency Sir, I hope you are in good mood and good condition. I am writing you this when I realised that some institutions within the country released the 2016/2017 proposed Academic Calendar. The calendar showed registration exercise to commence in October, 2016 while Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) why I study have already begin its registration process for this session.
Sir, since then, students have become apprehensive as fear of losing the admission as it has happened in times past. As a result of the economic recession and other economic hardship a huge number of students have not being able to pay their fees. My office as the Vice President, National Affairs, National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has received lots of complaint and calls from students to intervene on their behalf, calling your distinguished attention to this anomaly.
Sir, it may interest you to know that since my inception into the University four years ago and as an indigene of Borno State, I have never for once benefited from either scholarship or sponsorship as the case may be from the State Government despite the fact that our colleagues from other states get these privileges every year non-stop.
Your Excellency, this letter is sequel to the numerous letters I have sent you through this medium and other medium when I was serving as the National Union of Borno State Students (NUBOSS) President, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi Chapter, until two weeks back when I was sworn-in as the Vice President, National Affairs of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
Sir, it saddens me to inform you that many students had to withdrew from the university and other tertiary institutions simply because they can’t afford to pay for the registration and pay school fees let alone buying academic books. I know them Sir, its unfortunate but how do we help? As it stands we are losing these financially disadvantaged students every year.
Sir, On 4th April 2015, the sum of 235 million Naira was released for the payment of 2012/2013 academic session scholarship, the payment started with institution within Maiduguri, immediately after the 2015 gubernatorial election, the payment stopped, covering less than 25% of the students. Till date there is no positive outcome of the remaining funds from the Ministry of Higher Education or the State Scholarship Board.
Your Excellency, I am certain that you are unaware of the current predicament that we have found ourselves as students. We live our life in constant fear of losing our admission as time for resumption draws near instead of the normal “back to school” excitement that should follow. You may not know that palpable fear for losing our studentship was tense among Borno State Students as the news of resumption for a new session stared us in the face, instead of the thrill and excitement that normally accompany resumption. It may interest you to know that for over four years, no student of Borno State has ever benefit from the local scholarship or sponsorship scheme, except few students that just got theirs before the 2015 gubernatorial election.
As a student leader and having promised the Nigerian students who I effectively represent, I am glad to have brought this to your notice and solicit your support in assuaging the problem. As a father and a leader with listening ears, I am confident that you will come to our aid.
We believe you will through your esteemed office order the Scholarship Board through the Ministry of Higher Education to give us sponsorship just like you are giving to our colleagues sponsored in foreign universities.
Aluta Continua, Victoria Ascerta….
COMRADE Shettima Umar
National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)