Posted by News Express | 28 August 2013 | 4,846 times
At a time when Nigeria’s university teachers are on strike over poor funding of the country’s public universities, a governor of one of the country’s 36 states has confirmed spending over N1 billion (about $6.5 million) on a tertiary school in a neighbouring country.
Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of north-western Kano State said the princely sum was expended in building students’ hostel, multipurpose hall, kitchen, staff quarters, clinic and wall fencing of Kano/Niger Republic Bilingual College in Niamey.
“Speaking during a farewell ceremony for the first batch of 101 secondary school students to Niger Republic, he said the money was the counterpart fund of the state for the joint project,” reports Daily Trust. “The state government, according to a statement by the governor’s media aide, Mallam Halilu Dantiye, provided a bus, a pick up van, two sets of uniforms for each of the pioneer 200 students and English teachers.
“He added that the Nigerien authorities provided land for the project, in addition to running the school. The idea for the establishment of the college, according to Governor Kwankwaso, was to consolidate bilateral relations between the state and the Niger Republic, expose Kano children to French language as well as create unlimited opportunities for them in French and English speaking countries.”
Governor Kwankwaso was quoted as saying: “With an annual increment of 200 students, 100 from Niger and 100 from Kano, it is our vision that in six years when the college will graduate these very students, they will have a population of 1,400 students.”
He said that the governments of Kano and Niger Republic would take full responsibility for the scholarship of the students.
In his remarks, President Muhammadou Yousoufou of Niger Republic, represented by the country’s Minister of Education, Madam Maryam Alhadji Ibrahim, said the partnership will bring about greater unity and reinforce the existing relationship between his country and Nigeria.
News Express reports that Nigeria’s public universities have been shut since July 1 when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike in a yet-to-succeed bid to force the country’s rulers to adequately fund the universities.
•Photo shows Kano State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.
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