POLITICS FOREIGN SCHOLARSHIP: A debt Ganduje must pay Aliyu Suleiman

 

“Those of us studying in Egypt and Sudan have not received tuition fees for the remaining 3 years of our studies, no accommodation fees for about 7 months and no upkeep allowances for 9 months, because of this the schools threatened to stop us from writing end of session exams and also the foreign registration office refused to extend their visas”.

 

The above is a save our soul from one of the foreign students of Kano origin that were stranded in many countries of the world seeking for help from the Kano state government in order not to lose the scholarship opportunity given to them to fulfill their desired dreams – and that of their people – of being educated.

Although everyone is aware that Nigeria is in recession and as such, things have not been easy with most state governments but education is such a thing that no right thinking government will ignore the legitimate calls by these students to meet their obligation to complete the remaining years of their studies.

It must be said that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje must as a matter of urgency suspend or adjust expenditure on projects to source for funds in order to settle the bills of these students who are determined to pursue their educational carrier for the benefit of the state and the nation in general.

One is not unaware of the huge debt of over N6billion that was inherited by the Ganduje’s administration from his predecessor Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on foreign scholarship. Also, one is not unaware of the various uncompleted projects inherited by the administration across the state.

Few among them include the multi-billion naira Murtala Muhammed Bridge; the five kilometer roads in each of the 44 local government areas, of which less than 90 percent are completed; the Gadon Kaya under pass and the North West University just to mention but few.

Despite this, if the government of Ganduje is sensitive to issues that are of priority to the people, it shouldn’t have initiated additional projects that would compound its predicaments. The initiation of projects like the Panshekara/Dorayi, Kofar Ruwa and Kanti Kwari under passes (last two not yet commenced), and other road projects across the state shouldn’t have arisen because there are a lot of projects to be completed which were inherited by the Ganduje administration from Kwankwaso, of which he (Ganduje) was part of it.

Governor Ganduje’s inability to fulfill the promises he has made to continue with the projects initiated by Sen. Kwankwaso his former Boss has landed him into trouble. Kwankwaso and his supporters are now at war with Ganduje threatening his 2019 ambition for re-election. However, Ganduje is not adamant about the threats rather, he is fighting back by removing key loyalists of Sen. Kwankwaso in his cabinet such as the party Chairman, Alasan Ado Doguwa; the SSG, Garba Bichi and many more who are not loyal to him.

The only strong one but who might have compromised is the Deputy Governor, Prof. Hafizu Abubakar who was the first to become the whistle blower on the huge debt incurred on the foreign scholarship. Governor Ganduje is suspected to believe that, Prof. Hafizu is loyal to him but political analysts doubt this loyalty as Hafizu was known to be one of the most loyal supporter of Kwankwaso which earned him the nomination as the Deputy Governor.

Prof. Hafizu Abubakar concerned at an occasion regarding the foreign debt said the government is proud of such heavy responsibility since it is an investment in education, assuring that despite financial challenges facing the administration at the moment, efforts are being made to offset the liability.

“Despite our economic challenges, we have earmarked on a monthly allocation of N360 million to the state Scholarship Board to settle outstanding allowances to our students and I am sure our students in tertiary institutions will attest to this”, Prof. Abubakar said.

Therefore, Ganduje’s administration must stick to this promise as education is the backbone of any community that aspires to compete with its peers favorably in this changing world where education is the driving force for meaningful development scientifically and technologically. MA