In a remarkable display of support for inclusive education, Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has announced the establishment of a N100 million intervention fund to assist physically challenged students in tertiary institutions across the state. The governor made the announcement during a courtesy visit by the National Association of Students with Disabilities, University of Uyo chapter, led by their President, Comrade Emmanuel Wisdom, at the Government House in Uyo.
During the interaction with the visiting students, Governor Eno expressed his deep commitment to ensuring that students with disabilities feel a sense of belonging and emphasized the importance of political inclusion within his administration. In order to ensure effective disbursement of the fund, the governor directed key government agencies, including the Office of the Accountant General, the Secretary to the State Government, and the Ministries of Education and Women Affairs and Social Welfare, to oversee the process.
Governor Eno stressed the need to avoid bureaucratic delays in the disbursement of funds and urged officials to prioritize the students’ needs. He highlighted that the purpose of the intervention fund is to encourage the beneficiaries, ease their financial burdens, and empower them to pursue their education diligently. The governor further emphasized that individuals with physical disabilities often demonstrate remarkable focus and determination in their academic pursuits.
As a concrete demonstration of his commitment, Governor Eno personally approved a cash donation to Udeme Emmanuel, one of the disabled students, and pledged a monthly stipend to support his participation in the Law School. Moreover, Governor Eno assured Emmanuel of automatic employment in the Ministry of Justice upon completion of his course, providing a promising future for the deserving student.
In addition, Governor Eno appointed two students, Emmanuel Wisdom and Ubong Imoh Ikpe, as Personal Assistant on Student Matters and Personal Assistant on Students with Disability, respectively, recognizing their potential and commitment to representing the student community.
The courtesy visit witnessed the presence of distinguished government officials, including the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah; the Permanent Secretary of the Government House, Mr. Godwin Udoh; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Lady Rose Bassey, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Margaret Edem, who joined the governor in receiving the students. This initiative marks a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and creating opportunities for the physically challenged students in Akwa Ibom State.