About Niger State Scholarship Board:

The Niger state scholarship Board was established in 1976 when the State was created, with the primary responsibility of disbursing government grants to all indigenous students of Niger State in all the tertiary institutions in Nigeria and abroad to carter for their welfare and sustenance throughout the period of their study.

Following the change of guard in Government House in May, 2007 these statutory activities of the board had blossomed to its highest peak, which the students' now enjoying regular and uninterrupted payment of Scholarship grants. In like manner, the Board is saddled with the great challenges of sharing and sustaining same Government goals and aspirations by working around the clock to ensuring that her objectives of scholastic Sponsorship is fully realized.

STUDENTS WELFARE
Student Biometric was introduced which served the basis for the payment of student bursary through e-payment. Since creation of the Board to July 2012 the Board has been paying students through cash payment i.e through this method. 1). Photocopies of the payment vouchers are displayed at the various pay points to allow student to check for their names. 2) Student having identified their names moves to payment point with the following documents:
a. Award letter;
b. Current ID card of the institution
c. And the rest credentials where any of A or B is missing. Students are referred to the student affairs Officer of the institution for proper identification.

This method of payment (Table payment) was believed to have a lot of challenges i.e. omission student names, duplications and other sharp practices which cost a lot of wastages and ineffectiveness.

This method of payment (Table payment) was bedeviled with a lot of challenges from students omitting names, duplications and other sharp practices which cost a lot of wastage and ineffectiveness.

E- PAYMENT
To solve these problems and reduce cost, the board introduced the system of e-payment on 10th August, 2012. The Board deployed the use of e-payment (by) capturing and uloading biometric data of the students and other related information. The method was use to pay all students their allowance in 2012. Albeit, this system was bedeviled to have a lots of challenges. Students make a lot of mistake in given personal's data, in addition to using third person's account and for any mistake, mismatch and dormancy of account the money return back to Board's account. With this, we have to look for individual students to correct and send again. This increases the cost of transaction and lost of time, for example, in five transactions, 4,325 were prepared for payment out of this number 338 student were returned to the Board's account. Secondly the banks don't have enough and efficient structure for e-transaction all the time.

"ATM Card"
In view of the above challenges, the board approved an agreement with a bank to use their explorer platform for the payment of student bursaries. This facility is in form of A.T.M. Card which we branded "ATM Card". Cash withdrawals can be done at any ATM machine in Nigeria for the period of the students study. Once issued it is customized to carry any data about the owner. The advantaged of this system include improvement in turn-around time of the Board, minimized cost and it completely eradicate the challenges of returns associated with the former system (e-payment).

"Money Transfer" With the improvement of operation in the bank industry where money can be transfer from one account to the other without any stress, we mandate the entire eligible applicant to submit their current and valid account details at the point of registration; we made the transfer directly to their bank account after scrutiny the information they supplied. The workability of this system is unquestionable and it does not only improve transparency and accountability but save time and cost. RATE
The Niger State Scholarship Board serves the students of tertiary institutions by paying them scholarship allowance at the following rates.
a) MBBS/DVM - N60,000
a) Pre Clinical - N30,000
e) Engineering at Degree Level (All field) - N45,000
f) Pharmacy at Degree Level - N30,0000
f) Architecture at Degree Level - N45,0000
f) Environmental at Degree Level - N30,0000
g) LLB at Degree Level - N30,000
h) Other degrees, HND, NCE, ND and OND - N15,000

ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD
a. Award Management Unit – is in charge of Award processing, Extension and change of course, guidance and counseling services and screening.
b. The Finance and Account Unit – is responsible for proper maintenance of account records as laid down by financial instructions, treasury circulars e.t.c.
c. Records and Statistics Unit – is to compile and maintain accurate data and preparation of budget for the Board.
d. Institutional Liaison Unit – is to liaise with all institutions and monitor the progress of students to know their present and progress. STUDENTS LOAN SCHEME:
The Chief Servant has also directed the Ministry of Tertiary Education in conjunction with Ministry of Justice to draft a law for the establishment of student loans scheme. The Law shall soon be submitted to the State Executive Council approval and subsequently transmission to the State House of Assembly for consideration and eventual passage; it is to enable Nigerlite access tertiary education and excel in their academic and field of specialization.

BILATERAL EDUCATION AWARD
Bilateral Education Agreement Award is a special type of Award which involves the Federal Government of Nigeria and donor Countries of Caribbean and Africa inform of exchange programme as of today the Donor countries are As follows:-
Algeria
Cuba
Egypt
Morocco
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Tunisia
Turkey
Ukraine

The courses available are as follows:-
- Medicine & Para medicine course
- Engineering
- Geology
- Archlecture
- Agriculture
- Sciences
- Languages/Arts
- Environmental studies
- Management/Social sciences
- Law/Conflict Resolutions

Scholarship award interview took place in Ilorin, kwara State between 18th to 22nd March, 2013. After the interview about five students from our State were successful. At present we have 17 students benefiting from Bilateral Educational Agreement studying across the donor countries. The state Government contributes $1500 each to all the students of this programme.

SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD:
This specially dedicated scholarship award for the gifted. Any student of Niger State origin who is able to make seven (7) distinctions is entitle or qualify for this award. The award is 50% sponsorship if the student decides to study in abroad and 100% if he decides to study in any of Nigerian University.
At present six (6) students are benefiting from this scholarship, including recent approval of another candidate to study medicine at Ahmadu Bello Univerityu, Zaria

CONCLUSION:
In Niger State, students have never had it so good than in the present Administration of the Executive Governor Abubakar Sani Bello. During this administration, payments of scholarship allowances to student have been prompt, timely, smoothly and highly effective. Every month, money is posted into our account as at when due. Indeed we are grateful to our Gorvenor as we are indeed in the next level.

Mall. Danladi A. Salihu Zungeru
Executive Secretary

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