Unizik ASUU awards N1.5m worth of scholarship to 30 indigent students
By Gabriel Chy Alonta
No fewer than 30 indigent students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state, have benefited from scholarship awards by the members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNIZIK chapter.
The event, which took place at the University Auditorium, Wednesday, was part of ASUU-NAU social responsibility to the students and their parents, Orient Daily learnt.
The beneficiaries were selected across various faculties of the university, and each beneficiary received N50,000 for the 2019 2020 academic session.
ASUU National also awarded a scholarship of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000), to the most deserving student in all public universities Nigeria, which a student of Unizik is a beneficiary, this paper reports.
Speaking during the award presentation, the ASUU-NAU Chairperson, Comrade Stephen Ufoaroh, said the members tasked themselves to raise the fund for the scholarship to help indigent students unable to pay their school fees. He said the exercise, which would be an annual event, would help to reduce school dropouts and its attendant criminality.
According to the chairperson, despite the fact that all academic staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, are owed salaries between four and twelve months, ASUU-NAU members still saw the need to help in alleviating the suffering of our students, who have also borne the pain of the ruling class insensitivity to the suffering masses of this country.
“The scholarship award is another evidence that ASUU, as a union, understands the plight of our students and as such we will go any length to protect the interest of our students, which have made us to resist every attempt by the Federal Government to introduce tuition fee in public universities, because we know that many of our students are merely striving to succeed and can hardly pay the current service charges, being paid in public universities (federal and state universities).
“Students should see ASUU as partners in the struggle to save the soul of our public universities, by working together to compel government at all levels to adequately fund education, so as to give every youth opportunity to access quality education.
“We appreciate the members of ASUU-NAU in a special way for making contributions towards raising the fund for the award of this scholarship of N50,000 to most deserving students of the University”, he said.
Comrade Ufoaroh further enjoined the students to make use of the fund to pay their school fees to give their parents/sponsor some relief for one academic session.
In a remark, the university Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone FAS, described the event as landmark and timely, especially considering the economic hardship on people. While commending the ASUU-NAU leadership and members, he urged them to sustain the gesture.
Esimone, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, said, “the university appreciates this corporate social responsibility otherwise known as community service. This will help to prevent poor students who would have ordinarily drop out on financial reason.
“May God bless all members of ASUU who contributed to this gesture. I pray that the number of beneficiaries will increase by the next outing since you have made it an annual event”.
The vice-chancellor, then reiterated the university’s effort in attending to the staff and student’s welfare, and pledged his continued support to the university community.
In a remark, the Students Union Government President, Comrade Samuel Jude, thanked the leadership of ASUU-NAU for creating such a platform to assist the indigent students. He urged the Federal Government to quickly address the rightful demands of the university lecturers.
Earlier, Prof. Chinonso Achebe, dean of students affairs, encouraged students to use the funds for the purpose for which it was meant, while assuring them that their welfare remains sacrosanct to the university management.
One of the awardees, Chinelo Anyaorah from Faculty of Education, had, in a remark on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked both the ASUU National and ASUU-NAU, for the gesture, noting that it would help them pay their schools, as well as write project for those in finals.