Few weeks ago, ACHIEVERS UNIVERSITY, GREGORY UNIVERSITY and Eight (8) other Universities in Nigeria sent invoices to the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta & Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, asking for payments for Tuition fees and other related charges with respect to 2017/2018 deployments to the schools by the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Shocked by the number of deployments and the figure in terms of naira and kobo, I sent the request to the appropriate units to do the needful. The revelation was alarming. Out of a total of 1,061 delegates/students that were deployed to 10 Universities, only 314 delegates/students were found in the database of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. This revelation ignited the suspicion surrounding the entire process of the deployment. As a result, and to keep the records straight, I directed the Head of Reintegration to diligently investigate the circumstances surrounding the said deployment and the wayforward. This information got to some of the affected schools who hinted the students and there were protests.
- THE COMMITTEE
To carry out the assignment, a committee was set up headed by the Head, Reintegration. Other members are Bomere Ogriki (Head, Onshore Education), Oyintarela Umeri (Head, Offshore Education), Peter Jack (Head, Data), David Fakunle, Hassan Usman Malami and Okuba Wonikefi. The committee was to amongst other things find out how the 1,061 students were deployed to the various institutions, whether they are beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP), whether their deployment followed due process and any other information that will assist the office.
Major HK Mowarin (rtd) was the Head of Local Education at the time I was appointed to replace Brig Paul Boroh (rtd) as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta & Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme. While hand-over formalities were being put together and perfected, Major HK Mowarin (rtd) was busy picking names and sending them to Universities without following due process. The consideration for deployment of delegates/students to Universities or training facilities in the reintegration component of the Amnesty Programme are:
- The delegate must be a beneficiary and must be in the database.
- There must be a budget for the deployment.
- The authorisation must be from the Special Adviser after management has given approval.
- The letter of Sponsorship/Scholarship award to each delegate/student must be signed by the SAPND and not by proxy.
In the case under review, none of the conditions stated above were met. It was Major HK Mowarin (rtd) who played all the roles solo. As seen in the table below, a total of 1,061 students were deployed to 10 Universities in Nigeria. None of the 1,061 students has a Scholarship Award letter duly signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta & Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme. It was also observed that out of the 1,061 students deployed, only 314 students can be found in the database of the Presidential Amnesty Programme yet without a letter of sponsorship.
|SN||INSTITUTION||DEPOYED CASELOAD||CLEARED||NOT CLEARED
(NOT IN DATABASE)
|2||BENSON IDAHOSA UNIVERSITY||26||3||23|
|3||EDWIN CLARK UNIVERSITY||112||35||77|
|8||MICHEAL &CECILIA IBRU UNIVERSITY||87||19||68|
|9||UNIVERSITY OF AFRICA||50||49||1|
|10||WESTERN DELTA UNIVERSITY||56||3||53|
It was also discovered that some of the Universities were charging three times more than what was advertised and submitted to the National University Commission as at the time of the said deployment. More worrisome is the fact that while some folios in the file that has to do with this “deal” was removed, some files were totally missing. There was no record of the deployment in the Office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta. The list of the said deployment was no where in the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta & Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme. The only document that ignited the suspicion of fowl play was a scanned copy of a letter OSAPND/PAP/EDU/001/915 dated 20th March 2018 and signed by Major HK Mowarin (Rtd). This letter was only sent to a staff by Novena University. I was not privy to that letter and did not direct Major HK Mowarin (rtd).
- CONSEQUENCES OF THE DEPLOYMENT
As stated earlier, every deployment must have a budget. The deployment of 747 non-beneficiaries will cost the government not less than N1, 053,270,000.00 annually which was not budgeted for. The table below speaks for this position.
|SN||DESCRIPTION||NOT CLEARED||RATE||DURATION (YEARS)||TOTAL|
|1||AVERAGE TUITION||747||? 1,300,000.00||1||? 971,100,000.00|
|2||IN TRAINING ALLOWANCE (ITA)||747||? 70,000.00||1||? 52,290,000.00|
|3||BOOK ALLOWANCE||747||? 40,000.00||1||? 29,880,000.00|
|FOR ONE (1) YEAR||? 1,053,270,000.00|
|FOR FOUR (4) YEARS||? 4,213,080,000.00|
It is also important to inform you that Gregory University Uturu over-invoiced my office on this fresh deployment. For instance, while the school advertised N600,000/student in the College of Agriculture, an invoice for N1,450,000/student was sent to the office for that course. There was an increment of between 100-130% added to all the programmes/courses from the school to the office. Ordinarily, the office was entitled to a discount and not an increase in fees due to the number of students deployed.
The office considered the consequences of sending the 747 students away. There will be demonstration and destruction of properties and threat to life. This will raise security issues in the region. We also note that accommodating them will set a wrong precedent as others will be encouraged to do same.
It was also rumoured and strongly suspected that some of the affected students paid so much to get their names included.
- To avoid the backlash of sending the 747 students who were not in the data base of the PAP, government may wish to consider paying only tuition fees for the affected students. Recall, the core mandate of the PAP is to deepen peace in the region. The most expensive peace is better than the cheapest conflict.
- The management of Gregory University Uturu, Abia State, should be reported to the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) for their actions and be investigated. Management may consider moving the 34 cleared students from Gregory University to another partnering institution.
- Major HK Mowarin (Rtd) should be investigated. The whole process of the deployment of the 1,061 students was clouded with massive fraud. The files that has to do with the deployments were not in the Registry. There is no record of the recent deployments done by him during the last administration.
- There is a need to reprofile the 747 affected students. This will avail the government the leverage to truly identify those who paid their way through and those to be considered in recommendation (1) above.
Above for your information and necessary action please.
Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator
Presidential Amnesty Programme