About 28 million USD and over N6 billion were inherited as debt in respect of foreign and local scholarships respectively by the Ganduje administration, from the immediate past administration in the state, according to the state Acting Governor, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar.
He explained that the financial commitment covered tuition and other allowances of students sponsored for various courses by the past administration in several universities in about 12 countries as well as unpaid scholarship to thousands of its students in local universities, for four years.
Speaking while receiving the Emir of Kano during the traditional Hawan Nassarawa homage at the Government House in Kano, the acting governor however stated that “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 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 stated.
He also stated that the government is spending N62 million weekly to give food to students in boarding public secondary schools while N70 million is spent in feeding primary school pupils for two days each week, in the state.
This scenario is very taxing for a state whose existing enrollment figure, as at 2015, was 2, 743, 647 pupils with over 5,000 primary schools spread across the state, vis-à-vis dwindling resources and competing demands.
“The original arrangement regarding the feeding programme was for the state government to feed the pupils on Mondays and Tuesdays, the local governments to feed them on Wednesdays and Thursdays while the communities will take charge on Fridays. We are consistently releasing money for our feeding days but the local governments cannot cope because they are finding it difficult to even pay salaries of workers not to talk of other responsibilities”, the acting governor stated.
Prof. Hafiz also announced that huge sums of money have been allocated to the state University of Science and Technology, Wudil Northwest University and the state Polytechnic to enable them accredit their courses, stressing that so doing is a very pivotal commitment which is hardly publicized because not many people realize the consequence of the accreditation.
Regarding infrastructure, he mentioned that so many inherited road projects have been completed while new ones have been initiated within the past 16 months, adding that on-going capital intensive projects like the Murtala Muhammad Way flyover, Madobi junction underpass and the state Independent Power Project at Tiga and Challawa Gorge dams are rapidly gathering momentum.