12 December 2012

Nigeria: Education Minister Dismisses N6.8 Billion Bribery Allegation

Minister of State for Education, Barr Nyesom Wike, has discharged bribery allegations of 40 per cent (N6.8bn) kick-back from 4th quarter allocation of 104 Unity Colleges from principals of schools.

The Minister, through his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, said the report was baseless and false; explaining that the capital expenditure for the entire education sector in the 4th quarter was not up to N50bn and the unity colleges could not have gotten the amount quoted.

He also said the budget to rehabilitate some Unity Colleges was below N12bn and it was not possible for 100 per cent of the budget to have been released.

"To begin with, the budget for the special rehabilitation of the entire Unity Colleges is below N12bn, and the actual releases were less than 50 per cent at the time the false reports hit the website that dwells on blackmailing performing government officials.

"Many of these unity schools got averagely N100m and less than 50 per cent was released so where did the money come from?" he asked.

The Minister had met with Principals of Unity Schools to ascertain the level of implementation of projects in their schools following the federal government's decision to phase the rehabilitation of unity schools this year.

The first phase will have 19 schools for rehabilitation to the tune of N4bn.

The remaining 85 schools received N42.9m for capital expenditure, bringing the total to N7.6bn, though less than 50 per cent of the capital budgets have been released after the fourth quarter payments.

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