197 Katsina Students get scholarship from Victims Support Fund
By Babagana Bukar Wakil, Maiduguri
The Victims’ Support Fund, a Presidential initiative to support victims of terrorism, has presented cheques to 197 students from nine tertiary institutions in Katsina State to support their education.
Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries at the ceremony which was held in Katsina, the Executive Director of VSF, Prof. Nana Tanko said the scholarship was aimed at encouraging the education of students who are victims of terrorism and other forms of violent conflict in the country.
She explained that the Victims Support Fund was inaugurated in 2014 by the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, to galvanize resources from government, the private sector and donor partners to support the frontline communities to cope with the aftermath of conflict.
Prof. Tanko noted that VSF intervenes in four areas which are livelihood support through resettlement of displaced families, food and livelihood support, health and trauma management and education.
“In this first phase of scholarship, we gave a total of N25 million to the beneficiaries in Katsina State but in total we will spend N250 million in Katsina State before the end of the programme in 2025.
“The remaining part of the money will be spent on the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and providing livelihood support to them in order to restore normalcy in their lives.
“The budget also covers psychosocial support to help the victims and survivors to cope with trauma as a result of violent conflict in their areas, and this includes healthcare support to the victims in their communities.
“I want to express the profound appreciation of the Chairman of VSF, Lt. Gen. TY Danjuma Rtd. to the Katsina State government and the affected Local Government Areas and the management of these nine institutions for selecting the beneficiaries from families that have suffered displacement due to one form of violent conflict or the other”, Prof Tanko said.
In her remarks, another member of the management committee of the Victims Support Fund, Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi, urged the beneficiaries to make optimum use of the scholarship by excelling in their various academic fields.
She said the scholarship will have a far-reaching impact on the educational careers and lives of the beneficiaries who were selected from Local Government Areas that are battling with the menace of armed banditry and terrorism.
“We want to make sure that no student drops out of school because of his poor background or due to displacement as a result of insecurity.
“We therefore urge these students to make the best out of this opportunity given to them by VSF, we don’t want them to lose hope we want to encourage them to excel in their education”.
The Katsina State governor, Malam Dikko Radda who was represented by the state Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Isa Muhammad, expressed appreciation to VSF for the gesture which he said will go along way in encouraging school enrolment in the state.
“The program will complement the efforts of the state government and its development partners towards encouraging enrolment and retention among students from less privileged families, particularly within communities that have been ravaged by armed banditry.