A total of N704,569,970 was paid to over 58,538 students covering their entitlement for the academic years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Government has also completed arrangements for the payment of the 2014 session scholarship which will cost the administration well over N94m.
The Commissioner for Tertiary Education Dr Mohammad Bashar Nuhu who disclosed this at a post executive council media briefing in Minna on Monday said that the verification exercise carried out by the ministry was the cause of the delay of payment of scholarship to the students.
According to him,“ government was able to discover over 7000 ghost students on the scholarship payroll while not less than N125m has been saved from the verification exercise”
The Commissioner attributed the success recorded in the verification exercise to the introduction of a special scratch card (katin Talbin) which was issued to all students and which made it mandatory for students to collect their entitlements from the banks.
He noted that if there is any outcry from any students˜it is from those who are not eligible for the scholarship but managed to fix their names on the register.
He lamented that even the register prepared by the institutions on the request of the government were discovered to be filled with fictitious names wondering how the students were able to beat the security of the universities.
Dr Nuhu said the Ministry is now at an advanced stage of opening a website for applicants to register on line saying that all the applicants will also be screened and registered on line.
He assured students who had carry over and those that have to repeat their course for genuine reasons that the ministry will favorably consider their situation and register them if need be.
He also announced that a total of N17m had been paid to both the local and National branches of the National Association of Niger state students as required by law. (Daily Times)