Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state has alleged the overseas scholarship scheme of the immediate past administration in the state was a scam, carried out with the connivance of a contractor.
He argued that instead of following due process to secure admissions for the students, the government engaged the services of what he called “a contractor,” who collects money improperly from both the government and the institutions, turning the whole admission exercise into a racket.
“When they want to pay the bursaries of the students, they give the contractor, who in turn takes his share before remitting the money to the students. Similarly, when they want to pay the school fees, they send the money to him (contractor), to take his share, then give the rest to the institutions,” the governor claimed.
The governor, who made the assertion, while receiving the new executives of National Association of Kano state Students, NAKSS, who visited him, lamented that such arrangement was fraudulent and unacceptable to his administration.
Governor Ganduje explained, however, that his administration is determined to regularize the states’ scholarship process so that the students continue with their academic endeavors conveniently.
“While some state governments are bringing their students back home because of economic recession, we are sustaining the foreign scholarship scheme until our children complete their studies and return home,” the governor assured.
He stated that his government inherited a huge liability of unpaid scholarships for students in foreign universities, pointing out that although effort was made to settle some of the debts, about N3 billion is still being owed to the institutions.
On local scholarships, he berated his predecessor for not paying the teeming Kano students for four years running, saying, “so far, the outstanding claim by students in private universities alone is over N2 billion, apart from the amount due to students in public universities and tertiary institutions.”
Speaking on Northwest University, also initiated by the past administration, the governor noted that the project was at complete standstill for two years before his assumption of office, highlighting that his administration has since asked the contractor handling it to return to site, adding that presently, the work is progressing smoothly.
Governor Ganduje, therefore, urged the Kano state students to shun machinations of those, who obstructed education instead of promoting it, as there is evidence to suggest that they are the same group of people plotting against the administration of President Buhari.
In his remarks, the new president of NAKSS, Aliyu Muhammad Maikasuwa Rano, told the governor that his members from the 57 chapters of the association are fully behind the state government in cancelling the free education policy, because it was unrealistic, given the nation’s economic situation.
Meanwhile, Governor Ganduje has donated a new bus to the state chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, to facilitate its activities. The donation was received by the council’s president, Kabiru Ado Lakwaya, who thanked the governor for his magnanimity.