Saturday, 29th January 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Kano anti-graft agency unravels foreign scholarship scam

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
06 January 2021   |   4:13 am
Top government officials and political appointees of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s administration are under fire, as Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission launched investigation...

Top government officials and political appointees of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s administration are under fire, as Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission launched investigation into the alleged fraud rocking the foreign scholarship programme in the state.

The commission was jolted by the unending financial demands for foreign scholarship despite government’s payment of over N7 billion to offset the inherent liabilities.

Addressing the press yesterday, the Chairman, Muhuyi Rimi-Gado, declared that preliminary investigation by hid agency unearthed fraudulent activities.

Revealed that six years since the Ganduje’s government took responsibility of settling the tuition fees, feeding and accommodation of the students, reconciliation of the books has become difficult.

The anti-graft boss told journalists that the commission was drafted to take over the affairs of the scholarship programme from the Scholarship Board, Office of the Secretary to State Government and Ministry of Higher Education, to ascertain the irregularities in the system.

While taking over the process, Rimi-Gado disclosed no standard mode of financing the programme due to conflicting accounts by those involved.

He was equally worried over preliminary investigation that revealed hijack of the process by consultants and politicians.

“The governor is particularly worried about unending demand on the issue, which ought to have ended. The present administration, as of today, has settled N7 billion on the foreign scholarship programme inherited from previous administrations.

“Yet, we have our students complaining of being under financial pressure for one reason or another. We realised that there is no standard mode of financing the programme by the government because, at initial stage, the SSG’s office, Ministry of Higher Education and Scholarship Board were running the programme, making it difficult to keep records.

“Consultants were used as intermediaries, which makes the programme easy to manipulate. Allegations exist that fraudulent activities bedevilled the programme and the hardship encountered by some students is orchestrated by some consultants and political gladiators,” he stated.

The previous administration had sponsored about 2,600 Kano indigenous students on foreign scholarship. Although, the Musa Kwankwaso administration had said that over N12 billion was injected into programme, Ganduje’s government said it inherited unsettled fees running into several billions of naira.

Ganduje had claimed that his government paid more than 80 per cent of the debt inherited from Kwankwaso’s government.