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Accountability: Agency probes Kano’s N7bn foreign scholarship programme

*Allegations exist that fraudulent activities bedevilled the programme, and some of the hardships encountered by the students are orchestrated by some of the consultants and political gladiators involved ─Muhyi Magaji, Chairman of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

To ensure that the Kano State Government upheld accountability and probity in the application of funds meant for upkeep of the students’ on scholarships in foreign lands, the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has begun an investigation into how funds allocated for the state’s foreign scholarship scheme about six years ago were utilised.

It was learnt Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State said he had settled the sum of N7 billion of foreign scholarship programme he inherited from the previous administration that initiated the programme.

However, the students are still complaining of being under financial pressure in overseas in respect of their tuition fees, accommodation, resident permit, books, medical insurance and ‘upkeep allowances.

Report says under the programme, started by Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Ganduje’s predecessor, Kano State students are sponsored to study in foreign universities, including in China, Cyprus, Egypt, Uganda, Sudan and India.

The state government also has accused contractors of the programme of allegedly misappropriating the funds, even as they mount pressure on the government to release more funds, which it said prompted the investigation.

Muhyi Magaji, Chairman of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, at a press conference Tuesday, said: “The governor is worried about the unending demand on the issue (scholarship) which ought to have ended by now.”

The Chairman of the anti-corruption agency disclosed the governor has mandated the anti-graft body to monitor the process of the foreign scholarship programme and its current position.

Magaji said: “The state government has involved the commission to supervise, investigate and take charge of the lingering foreign crisis, which is becoming very worrisome by the day.

“The commission’s intervention reveals that consultants were used as intermediaries, which makes the programme easy to be manipulated.

According to him, “Allegations exist that fraudulent activities bedevilled the programme, and some of the hardships encountered by the students are orchestrated by some of the consultants and political gladiators involved.”

He assured while investigation has begun to unravel the truth, government has released N144 million to the Commission to meet the demands of the students studying abroad.

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