The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has urged residents of the state against being obsessd with ethnicity and religion.

The Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, Jummai Dikko, said the board has earmarked over N1.8 billion for foreign and local scholarship to students from the state.

She made the disclosure in an interview with journalists shortly after the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of Muslims Refresher Course Programme (MRCP) conducted by Islamic Education Initiative, held in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Mrs Dikko said, “The state government has earmarked over N1 billion for foreign scholarship to indigenes students of the state.

“Currently, the state government had also appropriated the sum of N800 million for local scholarship to students in this year’s budget.

“Of the N800 million, the board had expended N774 million for local scholarship, each beneficiary enjoys the sum of N100,000.

“This is a drastic shift from the earlier amount of fifteen thousand naira received by students in the state as scholarship in the previous administrations.

“However, since the inception of His Excellency, Governor Nasir Ahmed el-Rufa’i, the amount skyrocketed to N100,000 per student.”

According to her, the state government is currently sponsoring five MBBS students in Cuba for a six-year programme, hoping that they will graduate and become medical doctors.

“The sum of N300 million has already been set aside to cover the duration of their programme.

“This is done to prevent any academic interruption in the event of change of government or leadership in the state.

“The governor has made this arrangement to enable students complete their studies without any hitch.

“I am also happy to note that one of the students sponsored for the medical training in Cuba was a product of this Muslim Refresher Course Program,” she said.

A lecturer with the Department of Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering, ABU Zaria, Kabir Ahmed, noted that there was a huge gap between students of Northern extraction and their counterparts from other regions in the country.

Newsmen report that Mr Ahmed presented a paper titled: Youth of Northern Nigeria: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

He said the sorry condition of schools in the North, lack of proper enlightenment and guidance led to the level of backwardness in performance of students from the region.

Mr Ahmed urged Northern elites to support the education of younger ones to bridge existing gaps.

NAN reports that the occasion featured the unveiling of a magazine titled “Refresher” and presentation of awards to deserving students and teachers of the programme.

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