THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has presented a cheque of N3 million to 50 most deserving students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State.
Presenting the cheque of N60,000 each to the beneficiaries, at the ASUU secretariat of the institution, the university branch chairman, Comrade Stephen Ufoaroh, said the gesture was meant to support the students to complete their university education, despite the financial challenges the union is currently facing.
“ASUU-UNIZIK still saw the need to help in alleviating the suffering of our students, who have also borne the pains of the ruling class’s insensitivity to the suffering of the masses.
“We tasked ourselves to raise the fund for this scholarship being awarded today. This sacrifice is part of our social responsibility to our students and their parents,” he said.
Ufoaroh noted that the award programme by God’s grace has become an annual event in the university.
He disclosed that the ASUU’s national body also awarded a scholarship of N100,000 each, to the most deserving students in all public universities in Nigeria, of which a student of UNIZIK, Miss Ikele Chinenye Elizabeth was a beneficiary.
“With this scholarship award, it is evidence that ASUU as a union understands the plight of the students and as such we will go to any length to protect their interest, which has made us resist every attempt by the Federal Government to introduce tuition fees in public universities.
“The reason is that know that many of our students are striving to succeed and can hardly pay for the current service charges being paid in federal and state universities,” Ufoaroh explained.
He urged the students to see ASUU as partners in the struggle to save the soul of the public universities, by working together to compel government at all levels to adequately fund education, so as to give every youth the opportunity to access quality education.
He described the event as a history-making event in the university.
He said that the award was for students of the 2020/2021 academic session.
In his address, the ASUU national president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, said ASUU had been and would continue to be at the forefront of free education in Nigeria.
The ASUU boss, who was represented by the Owerri zonal chairman of the union, Mr Uzo Onyebinama, noted that “ASUU is very convinced that Nigeria has the capacity to give free education to all its citizens, if the political will is there.
In his remarks, the vice chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Charles Esimone, commended the union for the kind gesture, noting that the history-making event came at the time when the country is currently facing all-round challenges.
He assured the union that the management of the university would continue to work in cordial relationship with the union for the sake of the underprivileged students.
He advised the beneficiaries to always report their challenges to the management of the institution for a peaceful dialogue rather than resorting to violence.
He also appealed to the students to use the fund given to them judiciously.
One of the beneficiaries, Miss Ikele Chinenye Elizabeth, from the Department of English and Literature, who spoke to Nigerian Tribune on behalf of others, thanked ASUU for identifying with them.
“I never expected it. I am very grateful to ASUU’s national president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, the UNIZIK chapter of ASUU and the vice chancellor, Professor Charles Esimone, for the kind gesture.
“I promised to reciprocate the gesture in the future for those who will be in my present condition,” Ikele said.
She prayed to God to continue to bless ASUU.
The union also at the occasion presented meritorious service awards to retired members of the university for their scholarly contributions to the nation.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the scholarship was the second edition in the university.
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