Delta State Executive Council (EXCO) has approved the payment of over N674,000,000 as bursary to students of its origin for the 2022/2023 academic session.

The approval was part of the decisions reached at the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Sheriff Oborevwori.

Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, the state Commissioner for Information, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza, said Exco also approved phase two procurement of medical equipment for 20 general hospitals across the state.

He listed the hospitals to include: General hospitals at Obiaruku, Abraka, Ekpan, Owa-Alero, Okwe, Koko, Orerokpe, Otu-Jeremi, Burutu, Abavo, Owa-Oyibu, Issele-Uku, Ibusa, Aviara, Onicha-Olona, Ofagbe, Aboh, Ashaka, Kiagbodo and Eku Baptist Government Hospital.

Osuoza, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Works (Rural and Riverine Roads), Mr. Charles Aniagwu, his Higher Education counterpart, Professor Nyerovwo Tonukari, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joseph Onojaeme, and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sir Festus Ahon, said Exco also approved compensation for the construction of flyover at Enerhen Junction to First Marine Gate.

He said: “We just finished Exco meeting and some approvals have been given to some vital projects. The Exco has approved the release of funds for 2022/2023 payment of Students Assistance Scheme, otherwise known as Bursary.

“There is approval for the upward review of the contract for the procurement of medical equipment at 20 General Hospitals in Delta State. There is an upward variation of the contract for the remodelling of the uncompleted library building of the Basic Clinical building for the College of Health Sciences, Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area.

“There is also approval for the compensation of buildings that will be affected by the construction of the flyover bridge from Enerhen Junction, Effurun to Marine Gate, Warri in Uwvie and Warri South local government areas, respectively.”

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Explaining further on the bursary payment, the Commissioner for Works (Rural and Riverine Roads), Mr Charles Aniagwu said, “On the hardship in the land, the reason the governor is very much interested in this is because when parents are looking for money, they need the money to take care of their children, pay school fees and provide basic necessities.

“As a government, we believe that if we are able to give some funds to these students, that way we have also been able to help their parents. Any student that you make this money available to now, at least, for that month and maybe the next, will not ask his or her parents for money to buy one book or feed.

“So, we are not just approving the bursary for our students for nothing. If we are able to reach out to as many as over 30,100 students of Delta State origin, you will know the number of households the government has been able to reach out to through this form of palliative.

“As an administration, you will notice a number of things we have mentioned here that we are doing in the health sector. It is also with a view to ensuring that our people have access to medical facilities and that they are able to reach out.

“Once we are able to put the hospitals in good shape and they are functional, it means that the funds that are available to you, even when we did not give it to you by cash, that as a government, we have also provided in that area.

“If we give you money and the hospitals are not functional, you will discover that you are not going to eat the money. After all, they say the value of money is what money can buy.

“So, we are providing you those things that you need money to buy; helping you solve that challenge so that, at the end of the day, we are mitigating the excruciating conditions that we have found ourselves in.