The Kaduna State Government will spend N4.7bn on local and foreign scholarships in 2020 and it is presently sponsoring 107 students on various courses in foreign universities.
A statement issued by Malam Hassan Rilwan, the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, also said that the state is paying bursaries to 7,598 students, out of whom 4,400 have already been paid.
The Executive Secretary further said that the students on Kaduna State scholarship are studying in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Cuba.
Hassan Rilwan cited examples of “Abba Dauda Maitala won a scholarship of N15 million to study a master’sprogramme in Cybersecurity at the Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom.
“Ahmad Abubakar Musa won a scholarship of N28.8 million for a Ph.D. in Transgenic Seeds Generation and Leaf Starch Granule Regulation for Biodegradable Polymers at the University of Potsdam, Germany.
“Sharif Ahmad Habibu won a scholarship of N9.8 Million for a Ph.D.at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.”
According to him, the commitment of the El-Rufai government to human capital development is reflected in N4.7bn 2020 budget for scholarships.
“With this huge allocation, the Kaduna State Government is set to offer local and foreign scholarships and disburse bursaries to more students through a transparent process,’’ he promised.
The Executive Secretary also said that his board also manages a student’s loan scheme, adding that it is the only one operating in Nigeria and has a current funding of N2 Billion.
“Citizens of Kaduna State who are government officials, self-employed or in the private sector can access up to N5million for themselves or their children for both foreign and local education once they provide two guarantors who must be state or federal civil servants,’’ he added.
According to the statement, the State Government provided a counterpart fund of N1 billion to bring down the interest to 8% per annum, clarifying that Governor Nasir El Rufai is determined to overtime further reduce the interest rate on the loan.
Hassan Rilwan emphasized that access to Kaduna State scholarships, bursaries and loans does not depend on who you know but what you know.
“An automated cycle has been established that ensures timely and orderly vetting, selection and payments of scholarships and bursaries,’’ he assured.
The Executive Secretary explained that the automated system has eradicated human interface, by ensuring that only the most qualified in terms of merit and need gets funding.