Benin City Nigeria…Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Edo State, on Friday 3rd February 2023 at the Banquet Hall of the University, inaugurated the Student Work Study Programme, SWSP, to assist students from poor backgrounds or experiencing money problems to pass through the university with some support.
Prof Salami who was represented by Prof Constantine Yuka, Dean of the Faculty of Arts said that the programme which was initiated during the 1998/1999 academic session by the then Vice Chancellor, Prof AR Anao was meant to be a welfare scheme aimed at ameliorating the financial burden of some indigent full-time students of the university. Prof Salami said that the scheme which had been implemented by successive administrations at different scales and levels, has helped many students graduate.
‘On assumption of duty as VC, I made efforts to continue with this novel scheme. Necessary steps were taken by the senate committee to ensure that this scheme continued. I was furnished with the progress made in receiving applications from interested students who were duly recommended by their respective heads of departments’, Prof Salami said.
Prof Salami said that there were delays with flagging off the SWSP because of COVID and the strike action on academic activities by the ASUU.
‘Economic situation in Nigeria has raised the number of applicants by indigent/financially challenged students while the paucity of funds posed a serious snag for the flag-off. I wish to thank Most Rev. (Dr.) Margret Benson-Idahosa, the Archbishop of Church of God Mission who donated the sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and Apostle Godspower Ogbonmwan, the General Overseer of Christ Apostolic Church of God Mission who donated the sum of N50,000.00 (Fifty thousand Naira)’, Prof Salami said at the inauguration of the SWSP.
The UNIBEN VC said that 50 students among the many that applied will receive N10,000.00 (ten thousand naira) monthly for carrying out decent work within the campuses – Ugbowo and Ekewan – and which have been designed in a manner that will not affect the studies of the recipients. Work carried out by recipients is on a short-term and part-time.
Students seeking to benefit apply, must be second and third year students without any relationship staff of the university. They should then get an endorsement from their Heads of Departments. Shortlisted candidates are then invited for interview by a board set up by the university.
The UNIBEN-SWSP programme is chaired by the eminent Professor, Gideon Emelue of the Faculty of Agriculture, department of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management. Prof Emelue is known for his impeccable character as a scholar and pastor who has contributed significantly to humanity. He told Anti-Corruption Times, ACT, publisher that the biggest challenge to the SWSP is how to sustain funding to continue to run the SWSP. ‘We appeal to Alumni Associations, corporate institutions to donate to this fund to ease some of the financial burdens of students at the University of Benin’, Prof Emelue said.