From Felix Ikem, Nsukka

Eleven students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State on Thursday benefited from the 2023 Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Indigent Students Scholarship Award.

The awards, which comprised national and branch categories, were presented to the beneficiaries by Prof Sule-Kano Abdullahi, chairman ASUU visitation panel, and Dr. Onyibo Eze, ASUU-UNN branch chairman during the union’s congress.

Ugwu Maryjane, Political Science Department, 300-Level, and Ugwu Promise, Mass Communication Department, 200-Level were given a cheque of N200,000 each from the ASUU national body while 9 other students from different departments got N30,000 each from the ASUU-UNN branch.

In a remark, while presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries, Abdullahi said that the award was to support indigent students in Nigerian universities in their education as well as to ensure sound and quality tertiary education.

“ASUU national body had in 2018 instituted an annual scholarship scheme for two indigent students in all branches of the union and has continued till date despite all challenges facing the union in the country.

“It is my pleasure to announce that after a rigorous screening exercise by the ASUU-UNN branch, the recommendation of Ugwu Maryjane and Ugwu Promise as the beneficiaries of UNN ASUU scholarship scheme 2023 has been approved by the national body.

“I urge you to make judicious use of the money by committing it to your education programmes,” he said.

The former ASUU boss said future that he and some members of the national executive council of the union were also in UNN to interact with the members of the branch and listen to some of their internal problems.

Speaking, Comrade Eze, (the chairman of UNN-ASUU) thanked the national visitation team for being part of their congress and the opportunity given to the branch to interact and share the problem with them.

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He expressed appreciation to ASUU national for the scholarship award of N200,000 each to two indigent students of UNN.

“ASUU-UNN in support of the national body decided to give N30,000 each to the nine other indigent students to help them in their education.

“ASUU will continue to do its best to ensure quality education for Nigeria students,” he said.

The chairman disclosed that one of the highlights of the congress was members repeating the call for the Federal Government to release their eight months withheld salaries of 2022 in the interest of justice.

Eze also disclosed that members during the congress urged UNN management to stop the ongoing review of the 5th edition of ‘Yellow Book of the university’ (guidelines for promotion) that contained stringent conditions for the promotion of academic staff in UNN.

“The feelers we are getting is that a lecturer will publish an article that will cost a processing fee of between 2,000 to 3,000 dollars as one of the conditions to promote him/her.

“Some lecturers’ monthly salary is not up to 200 dollars, so where will they get this money, and what it means is that they will not be promoted.

“The union has written to UNN  management on this issue and management told us to talk to the Dean of faculties who are members of the University Appraisal Committee (UAC) that have the power to approve the review,” he said.

Eze appealed to members of the union to remain calm assuring that all issues concerning the 5th edition of ‘Yellow Book would be resolved amicably.

Meanwhile, Ugwu Maryjane who responded on behalf of other beneficiaries thanked the ASUU national body and the UNN branch for the gesture and said the money would go a long way in solving some of their financial needs of their education.