The Gombe State government has released N120 million for the payment of scholarship to students, the Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Isa Wade, revealed on Thursday.
Wade said the money is for those studying in various tertiary institutions across the country.
He said that the payment of the scholarship would henceforth be done through a card known as 'Talba Bursary Card', named after the traditional title of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo.
Wade said the Talba Bursary Card Scheme was part of the government’s policy to address some of the problems in the payment of scholarship.
"It is an e-wallet that enables students to access their scholarship whenever the government pays; it’s just like an ATM card,” he said. “The card system is to eliminate the possibility of fraud where you are using cash to make payments. It will also reduce the risk involved in carrying huge amount of money from one institution to another to pay the students.
"It also helps in effective disbursement of the funds and inculcates in the students the idea of saving, because at least they know that their money is safe in their own accounts, and so they can withdraw when they so wish.
"Through this scheme, we will be able to catch up with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy of cashless economy."
He said the Ministry of Higher Education had produced about 11,000 cards for students in various institutions of learning, and would take about four weeks to distribute the cards to them.
According to him, the ministry will also entertain complaints from students after a week of the distribution of the cards, before the students accounts will be credited with the funds.
The commissioner said the ministry and the scholarship board had commenced the sale of scholarship forms for the 2011/2012 session.
Highlighting the measures put in place to reduce fraud, he said that in filling the forms, students would include copies of their admission letters, proof of indigene letter and evidence of registration for the session.
Wade said after the filling of the forms, the monitoring and verification unit of the ministry would liaise with the institutions to verify the data provided by the students.
The commissioner added that the scheme would enhance transparency and accountability, and block financial leakages which characterised the payment of scholarship in the past.