From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
For many years, the Kano State scholarship system faced enormous challenges which were not handled by the previous administrations, until the coming of the Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administration.
Peoples Daily check revealed that during the previous administrations, the system left many internal students out in the disbursement of the education allowances, because, except science, only a few courses from humanities were selected to benefit the allowances. This left many students marginalized, and all their plea to be included in the payment fell to deaf ears.
It was also gathered that, more worrisome is the fact the Kano State Scholarship Board, during the immediate past administration, did not pay a dime to all the internal students, studying different courses in various institutions across Nigeria. Apparently, because of the it’s oversee scholarship policy, thereby neglecting the welfare of the students studying in Nigeria.
Some feelers viewed the overseas scholarship programme of the former administration of Kwankwaso as fraudulent, because, the past administration, instead of engaging the scholarship board in the scholarship programme, decided to broker a deal with consultancy companies for the scheme.
This further compounded the impasse in the scholarship board, because, the whopping money spent on the foreign scholarship scheme by the last administration could have been used to sponsor students studying in domestic institutions. Hence, the reason why the administration allegedly failed to pay the allowances to the internal students throughout its tenure.
However, Peoples Daily learnt that, when governor Ganduje came on board, he began his reformation effort by changing the policies governing the operation of the scholarship board by assigning all the scholarship responsibility upon it.
He appointed a suitable and qualified professional. In person of Professor Fatima Umar, as the Executive Secretary, to help him bring back the lost glory of the sector.
In a Press Conference at the board on January 1, Mrs Umar revealed that as soon as she assumed duty, she checked the records from the previous administrations, and to her dismay, found out that the state government did not pay the scholarship allowances throughout the immediate past administration.
She added that the reports prompted her to intimate governor Ganduje on the issue, who according to her, promised to offset all the debts incurred by the past administration, despite the economic challenges in the country, and continue to pay after settling the liabilities.
“When we came on board, on checking our records, we found That the internal students of this state were not being paid their scholarship since 2011. This prompted me to meet governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, whom I believe is highly committed to education development in the state.
“When I intimated him, Ganduje promised to settle all the scholarship debts and vowed to continue paying new ones. He added that he would swiftly source money to start offsetting the debts. As you are aware, we paid the 2012/2013 academic session scholarship. Now it is the payment of 2013/2014 academic session that is imminent, “ said Mrs Umar.
The Executive Secretary further revealed that, the sum of N360 million outstanding fund was since disbursed to the first set of 24,901 internal students, studying in 55 institutions across the country, for the 2012/2013 academic session.
She further revealed that the conference was organised in order to announce the payment of N300 debt to 23,987 internal students, which was commenced from the day of the Press briefing and would take the period of 3 weeks to finish.
Mrs Umar also said that the administration of Ganduje had continued to settle the debts of the tuition fees and allowances to the foreign students, despite the fact that they were sponsored by the immediate past administration.
“This is a tremendous commitment by governor Ganduje to continue these kind of payments despite the economic crunch being faced by the government and the fact that the student population is growing,”
She assured that every student, who was successfully screened, would receive his/her money provided there is a correct account details and genuine bank account. She added that any person that did not accessible his money shall wait until the payment processes are finished.
She also assured the students that the next payment is being worked on and would be paid as at when due.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Information, Comrade Muhammad Garba, stated that the administration of Ganduje was always willing to bring policies for the development of Kano State.
According to Garba, the new scholarship policy by governor Ganduje was suitable, as it assigned the desired responsibilities to scholarship board, as against the last administration which engaged other agencies that were not suited for the scholarship tasks.
“You know, governor Ganduje is an education is the. He has the know-how to handle education sector. That is why we are witnessing a rapid development in the sector.
“I am sure, as he pledged, Ganduje will offset all the debts incurred upon his administration and will continue to pay the fresh ones.
“The essence of this Press Conference is to tell the world about the effort of the government of Ganduje towards reforming the scholarship board. As you can see, you will agree with me that a lot of successes are being recorded, “ Garba said.
Meanwhile, the scholarship payment had elicited excitement among the students in the state, thereby showering praises on governor Ganduje for the kind gesture.
Social media became awash with praises and excitement from the students for the payment of the scholarship, as many students took to their social media pages to express their delight.
A graduate of electrical engineering from Bayero University Kano (BUK), Ahmad Zubairu, whose facebook page bears, EngrAhmad Zubairu, wrote, “ Thank you Baba Ganduje for paying us our outstanding one year scholarship. Sai Baba Ganduje 2019!!”
Another student, with a facebook page that reads, Shuaibu Umarnin, wrote on his timeline as “Sai Baba Ganduje. 4+4, mun gode,”
The students also expressed confidence on Ganduje to complete payment of their outstanding fees and continue with the fresh one, expressing fear if the administration after the Ganduje ‘s government could maitain such a kind gesture to the Kano State students.