The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) has uncovered fraudulent activities in the state’s foreign scholarship scheme.
Its chairman, Barrister Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, who revealed this to journalists on Tuesday, said from 2015 to January 4, 2021, the state government has paid N7billion for this scheme inherited from the previous administration, yet allegations of students being left stranded overseas persist.
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Worried by the unending demand on the issue and especially on the fact that many of these students ought to have concluded their studies, the state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje directed the anti-graft agency to “supervise, investigate and perhaps take charge of the lingering foreign scholarship crisis”, Rimingado said.
Preliminary investigations, according to him, revealed that keeping records of the programme became difficult because “at initial stage, the SSG’s Office, Ministry of Higher Education and Scholarship Board run the programme” and the used of consultants as intermediaries made the programme easy for manipulation.
He said some of the said consultants and “other political gladiators” have been uncovered to be the ones sponsoring negative reports on the scholarship while also making efforts to see to the failure of the scheme by triggering the eviction of some of the students from their homes, thereby casting aspersions on the state government.
Among the sharp practices said to have been discovered at the preliminary investigation stage was the finding that names of some students that have concluded their programmes were still being used to make claims of payment from the state government.
He said the commission will leave no stone unturned in its investigation but added that it was important for the public to know that the state government has continued to make payments for the scheme.
Daily Trust reports that the scheme, which was started during the administration of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has been in the eye of the storm, with accusations and counter-accusations from the past and current administration in the state on the status of the scheme and the welfare of the students, with many of them alleging that they have been abandoned by the government.