By Hamza Suleiman
Maiduguri – Sen. Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno) on Sunday, inaugurated “Ndume Education Trust Fund”, a scheme to support the education of 1,000 students from Southern Borno, currently studying in various tertiary institutions in the state.
Ndume, who disclosed this during the inauguration of the fund at the Elkenemi hall in the University of Maiduguri, said the gesture, was to mark his 60th birthday and to enable him impact positively on the lives of the people of his constituency.
He said that the students were drawn from the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Ramat Polytechnic, Borno State UNIVERSITY, Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, School of Nursing, and College of Agriculture among others, adding each of them would receive N10, 000 under the fund.
“We have already collected the BVN number of each of the beneficiary. Your Excellency, we are expecting that if every information you gave is correct, on Monday at most, all the beneficiaries will get their N10, 000 each because the system is computerised.
“My background is what is guiding me in doing this. Right now we also introduced a project for our mothers in various local governments.
“Right now, my wife is in Biu, empowering 600 women and 100 of them will benefit from grinding machines so that they can help themselves. Five hundred women will also get N10, 000 each as empowerment to start up what they can do to help the family among others.
“Mostly, we randomly selected those selling kosai, (bean cake), Kunu and others doing petty trading on the streets for the empowerment programme.
“I discovered that the Trader Moni of N5, 000 given by the Federal Government makes a lot of difference and changes the life of some people. Therefore, I decided to do the same, this is the second batch in which I selected 100 women to be given N5, 000 each.
We also selected 500, 40 from each of about 101 wards in Southern Borno, focusing on widows and vulnerable women in dire need and empowered them with N10, 000 each, to make a difference.
“Also men are not left out; right now we are empowering 675 of them in the nine local government areas with N10, 000 each to embark on viable business.
“The beneficiaries comprise of 100 each from Gwoza, Askira Uba and Biu, 75 each in Shanni, Hawul and Damboa, 50 each from Bayo, Kwaya Kusar and Chibok while the disbursement has commenced,“said Ndume.
The Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, commended the Senator for his efforts aimed at adding value to social and economic life of the people of the stat.
The governor was represented by the Usman Jidda-Shuwa, the Secretary to the State Government.
Zulum said, “In the last two years, the dynamic interplay of certain factors occasioned, by Boko Haram phenomenon has inevitably pushed us to the cross road of life.
“It turns out that education is the key to toward addressing the various challenges confronting us and the key toward guiding our children to make a better life and saving future for themselves.
“It is also the key toward confronting the unfortunate social and economic consequences of the insurgency as well as the physical and psychological trauma thereof.
“The most distinguish Sen. Ndume must have certainly reflected on these refreshing and inspired qualities of education when he initiated this brilliant, imaginative idea.
“The idea is to assist our students most of who are obviously from the poor background, to pursue their educational objectives in an uninterrupted and gratifying manner.
” Ndume is a man of broad understanding, and amiable disposition who has the sympathetic and sensitive insight into the problems of his constituency and indeed, the state at large,“ he said.
The governor said not withstanding its limited resources; the state government would continue to give priority attention to the provision of infrastructure and other essential requirements.
This he said was apt to create and sustain the ideal requirement for the pursuit of education at all levels.
Also speaking, Prof. Abdullahi Shugaba, the Vice- Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) said helping the students in their educational pursuit, as done by the Senator, was a welcome development.
The vice-chancellor called on other wealthy citizens of the state to emulate the Senator by contributing their quota to the development of education and adding value to the life of the people of the state.
“Let me also thank distinguished Sen. Ndume for his gesture in supporting education generally and specifically assisting students especially from Southern Borno, his own constituency.
” The significance of this support cannot be overemphasised because education is a very important business that should not be left alone to the government,“ he said.
He said that the university would provide secretariat for the trust fund, as requested by the distinguish Senator because of the importance of the project.
He appealed to all students, particularly the beneficiaries of the Fund to face their studies seriously for the realization of their educational ambition and in conformity with the objectives of the Senator’s gesture