130 Delta students stranded in Trinidad, others give ultimatum over bursary

Ughelli mapFOR reasons, which may not be unconnected with their inability to meet their financial obligation, over 130 students of Delta State origin have allegedly been trapped in Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados where the Asaba government is sponsoring their educational endeavours in technical skills, the Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Fidelis Tilije has disclosed.

Tilije told reporters yesterday in Asaba at the end of the state Executive Council meeting that the government was however working on measures to ensure the safety of the students.

Accompanied by the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chiedu Ebie, his Works counterpart, James Aghoye and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Charles Aniagwu, he said the students were almost stranded at the Caribbean countries because certain conditions that were supposed to have been met have not been met.

He said: “All we are trying to do now is to ensure that those conditions are quickly met so that they can get on with that they are doing and come back to us safe and sound. The courses that they went there to do incidentally may have informed government decision to ensure that three technical schools spring up almost immediately in October, this year. They actually went out to do practical technical education. If we have had technical schools running here in Delta State, they would have been trained here.”

Ebie had hinted that council approved the rehabilitation works, which included upgrading of existing facilities as well as procurement of new equipments at three technical colleges in Agbor, Ofagbe and Sapele.

According to Ebie, the paper work and documentation for the rehabilitation project were in progress and that once they were completed, the contract would be awarded, adding that the colleges were expected to take off by October this year.

“Once the contract is awarded, everything will be communicated to you in terms of the actual amount and duration of the project. The target date for the technical is October. When the facilities are upgraded and equipped, we will be able to show to the whole world that there are technical colleges in Delta,” he said.

Also, the Commissioner for Works, Aghoye disclosed that the council approved the dualisation of the 1.71 kilometre Nnebisi Road within Asaba metropolis, as well as the construction of Modern Market at Orerokpe.

Aghoye said that compensation would be paid for properties to be affected by the dualisation project, which according to him would be 8.4 metres wide in both sides.

And following the inability of the Asaba government to pay the 2013/2014 bursary, students of Delta State origin have threatened to march on the capital if the money was not paid within two weeks.

A statement yesterday by the National Association of Delta State Students (NADESSTU) after an emergency meeting held at the polytechnic in Ozoro, Isoko North local council, the students let it be known that they have reached the limit of their endurance and that any further delay in the payment of the bursary may lead to students’ unrest in the State.

The statement was jointly signed by the trio of Shaka Emomine, the National President, Otouraha Oghenekaro, National Secretary and Agolo Samson.

The association said that it would no longer risk losing or jeopardising the trust bestowed on them by fellow students who they were elected to serve and protect their interest.

It said: “The Delta State Government is hereby issued a two weeks ultimatum to come up with the payment of the Delta State Students Bursary/Scholarships Award or stand a chance of risking a State wide protest from the students with its main target being the state capital, Asaba with a magnitude of protest capable of bringing all commercial activities in the beautiful city to a hurt until the cry of the students is listened to.”

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