OSOPADEC disburses N230m bursary, scholarships

By Ayo Olowu
It was jubilation galore in Akure on Monday as the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) lavished a whooping sum of two hundred and thirty million naira to lift students from the oil producing area as scholarships.

As the students stepped forward to collect their cheques one by one, they hugged one another with smiles and openly showered praises on the commission for making good its promise to make life good for them.

No fewer than 5,393 students from Ilaje and Ese-Odo local government areas of the state benefitted from the scheme in which the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu promised to offset the arrears as the financial position of the state improves.

Akeredolu who was represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Dr (Mrs) Olawunmi Ilawole said that in less than two years of this administration, it has paid two editions of the bursary and scholarships scheme.

Akeredolu who affirmed that education funding should be a collective responsibility of all stakeholders charged undergraduates to further their education on completion of their first degrees, saying the importance of human capital development cannot be over-emphasised.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of OSOPADEC, Hon Olugbenga Edema disclosed that no fewer than 5,393 students from the commission’s mandate areas benefited from the bursary and scholarships scheme.

Edema further gave the analysis of the beneficiaries as 199 Post-graduate students, 2,751 University students, 900 Polytechnic students, 581 College of Education students and 962 Health institutions’ students.

The OSOPADEC Chairman said each of the PhD students got N150,000, Masters and Law students N150,000 while undergraduate students got N40,000 each.

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Edema who described education as the bedrock of society’s development added that the commission is determined to continue to ameliorate the challenges faced by students in their various institutions of higher learning.

He disclosed that the processes leading to the disbursement of next year’s edition of the scheme has already commenced while averring that the commission is presently digitalising its operations, adding that the bursary and scholarships scheme has been incorporated into the commission’s digital system.

Edema appreciated Governor Akeredolu for his support for the commission.

He equally thanked the student leaders for their patience and perseverance.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Secretary to OSOPADEC board, Dr. Victor Koledoye said that the commission remains committed to the timely payment of its bursary and scholarships, adding that it had earlier fixed June this year for the disbursement of this year’s edition.

Koledoye however noted that the cumbersome processes involved in the screening and confirmation of applicants prevented the commission from meeting its June target.

While reiterating the passion of the commission’s board for the overall welfare of the students, he appreciated the chairman and all the board members for their pro-activeness towards making the payment a reality.

In their goodwill messages, the National Presidents of National Association of Ilaje Students (NAIS) and the Federation of Ese-Odo Local Government Students (FELGOS), Mr.Adeola Balogun and Mr. Yanyangbini Tinnateu respectively appreciated Governor Akeredolu, the Chairman and Board members of OSOPADEC for making the disbursement of the 2015/2016 Edition of the bursary and scholarships scheme a reality.

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One of the beneficiaries and a PhD Business Administration student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Mr. Rotimi Adeyoriju described the scheme as awesome, adding that the money will go a long way in meeting many of their needs including tuition, feeding and accommodation thereby promoting academic excellence.

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