The Kano State Government has revealed how it discovered a sum of over $1 million allegedly paid by former governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to a university in Ukraine where no Kano state student was studying.
The shocking revelation was made by Dr. Hussaini Akilu Jarma, the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Higher Education on Monday during the inauguration of the State Scholarship Disbursement Committee.
Jarma said the suspicious payment was made by Kwankwaso as part of his foreign scholarship programme, according to a statement by Abba Anwar, chief press secretary to the Kano state governor.
“Investigation reveals that a sum of $1,304,618 was abandoned in one University in Ukraine, when the sum was taken there during the last administration in the state,” Jarma said.
“No student was sent to the university at all. The money was sent unattended and un-utilised. We said business should not be as usual anymore,” he added.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje lambasted Kwankwaso for incurring debt of over N4 billion to the state with his foreign scholarship program which he said was “planned to fail”.
“When we came in we were told the past administration paid everything. But when we conducted an investigation we came to realise that, that statement was not true at all,” he said.
“The programme was not planned in accordance with organised educational system. The arrangement was poorly done, in such a way that, it was not planned to succeed.
“The programme was deliberately planned to fail. One can question the wisdom behind sending our students to study areas like Economics, for example, and other similar courses while we can have better universities that run the courses within the country.”
Ganduje also complained the while other states withdrew their students from foreign universities due to exorbitant cost, Kano managed to allow its students to proceed with their education at such universities despite the huge cost.
“They (other states) withdrew their students back home already. But we, in Kano, we said since it was an agreement reached between the state and those universities, Kano decided, we decided to continue with that, though under harsh economic condition that is affecting the country,” he lamented.
“Though we are paying in tears, but we have to maintain that. Because it was an agreement reached between Kano and the institutions. That is why we are calling on parents to also chip in and contribute towards attaining that. We are doing our best, while paying salary without any hindrance to our workers we are still paying outstanding debts on the foreign students. So also to other domestic universities.
“Those that are playing politics with this foreign scholarship issue, is either they are not conversant with the happenings in the circle of higher education or they pass through university not university passing through them,” he added.
He further criticized Kwankwaso for sending students to expensive foreign universities to study courses like economics and political science, while “we have better universities in the country that give more quality education”.
The governor said his administration inherited 1,130 foreign students from Kwankwaso’s government who were sent to various universities like China’s Shenyang University and SSIMS & RC, India’s Galgotias University and NOIDA University, Cyprus’s Near East University and UTM.
Others were sent to Malaysia’s Malaya University and Lincoln University, Uganda’s Kampala University, Egypt’s October 6 University, Al-Mansoura University, El-Razi University and Al-Ahfad University, Sudan’s Omdurman University, National University and Niger Republic’s Maryam Abacha University.
For the Nigerian private universities the total debt of Seven Hundred and Sixty Three Million, Four Hundred and Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy One Naira (N763,408,371) was paid as a debt being inherited from the immediate past administration. These are universities like Crescent University, Abeokuta, American University of Nigeria, Al-Qalam University, among others.