A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has called on the Federal Government to include students of private universities among the beneficiaries of its Students’ Loan Scheme.
The Students Loan Scheme was created by the current administration of President Bola Tinubu as part of the palliative measures to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.
Dogara, who is also the Chancellor of the Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State, stated this on Saturday in his remarks at the 13th convocation ceremony of the university.
According to the former federal lawmaker, there was a need for the government to ensure the students’ loan scheme was properly managed for the benefit of the teeming youths across the country, both in private and public tertiary institutions.
He said, “Let me appeal to the Federal Government to consider the plight being faced by students of tertiary institutions. While commending the Students’ Loan Scheme of this present administration, I join my voice in the call for the inclusion of private university students in the Students’ Loan Scheme of this administration as part of the palliative measures since they are also Nigerians.
“The scheme should also be properly managed for the benefit of the teeming youths of this country.”
In his address, the Pro-Chcellor of the university, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, said despite the harsh economic environment being witnessed globally, the university’s Governing Council had prioritised and would continue to prioritise the welfare of its staff and students.
He enjoined the graduates to be good ambassadors of the university, admonishing them to go into the world and demonstrate the leadership attributes imbibed as students of the institution.
“Remember as you go, that character maketh a man or a woman. You may secure the best job with your certificate, connection, or look, but note that good conduct is required to remain in employment and make progress in life. Society looks up to you for its reinvention.” Ayorinde admonished.
In her convocation address, the acting Vice-Chancellor of the varsity, Prof. Omolola Irinoye, disclosed that a total of 552 students of the institution were awarded first degrees.
He also disclosed that out of the number, 37 students finished with first class from various departments of the school in the 2022/2023 academic session, saying, “37 got first class, 259, second class upper division; 195 in second class lower division, and 27 in third class honour.”
The acting VC also explained that the institution had 27 undergraduate and 10 postgraduate degree programmes, adding that the university would continue to pursue with vigour its academic activities in teaching, research and community service.
Irinoye, who noted that the university had received permission to run 11 new academic programmes including medicine and surgery, said the university’s council had made provision for scholarships to many young people to make university education accessible to them.
“The students are offered a 100 per cent tuition-free scholarship for 15 programmes in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and College of Social and Management Sciences. Students are offered 80 per cent tuition-free in 11 other programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Natural and Applied Sciences and College of Social and Management Sciences.
“Also, students in all the seven engineering programmes are given 65 per cent tuition-free scholarship,” she said.