Governor Aliyu Wamakko and the Sokoto State Government are forcing sponsored students to fend for themselves abroad.
Sokoto State government, like others in Nigeria, sponsors the overseas education of a number of students each year, with the hope that the state will see a return on its investment. Sokoto State currently has students in programs in the UK, USA, Europe, and Malaysia, among other countries.
However, for the past year these overseas students have not been paid by the government, which has negatively affected their studies. Just last month, Gov. Wamakko, announced the release of N1.5 billion to cover payments of all overseas students. This announcement came just before he traveled to the UK.
While there, Gov. Wamako met with some Sokoto State students, assuring them that all debts would paid within two weeks. He also expressed his displeasure at the delay and praised the patience displayed by the students, considering the fact that a number of their courses are critical to development plans for the state. It has been over a month now, and the students are still yet to receive any payments.
In the last weeks, Gov. Aliyu Wamakko announced, in the state media, another approval of N3 billion for all outstanding payments. However, the students had been left out of the payment schedule. The debacle has caused a group of students to return home and for others, who stay abroad, have been forced to take extra work to make ends meet, hoping that soon the payments will arrive.
The payment problem have left many students wondering whether in fact, the Governor released he money, and it is being held up by the Ministry of Finance or the whole promise of payments was just the usual political propaganda.