Over 30 indigent students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state have benefited from N1.5million scholarship awards by the members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the institution.
The beneficiaries who received N50,000 each for the 2019/2020 academic session were selected from across various faculties of the University.
Speaking during the award presentation at the University Auditorium, the ASUU-NAU Chairperson, Comrade Stephen Ufoaroh said the gesture which would be annual was part of ASUU-NAU social responsibility to the students and their parents.
He said members tasked themselves to raise the fund for the scholarship to help indigent students unable to pay their school fees, expressing optimism that the assistance reduce school dropouts and its attendant criminality.
He said, “Despite the fact that all academic staff of the university 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 plights of the 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.”
While urging the beneficiaries to deploy the funds for the purpose it was meant, Ufoaroh challenged them to see ASUU as partners in the struggle to save the soul of our public universities, calling them to assist the body compel government to fund education.
The university Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone praised the ASUU-NAU leadership and members, describing the event as landmark and timely, especially in view of the economic hardship on people.
Esimone, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu, reiterated the university’s effort in attending to the staff and student’s welfare, pledging his continued support to the university community.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Students Union Government President, Comrade Samuel Jude, thanked the leadership of ASUU-NAU for creating such a platform to assist the indigent students, urging the Federal Government to quickly address the rightful demands of the university lecturers.