By Joseph Erunke
THE National Youth Council Of Nigeria,NYCN and some civil society organizations have given the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu,a clean bill of health in alleged contract scam at the Federal University, Gusau.
At a press conference in Abuja,Friday,addressed by the NYCN President, Solomon Adodo on behalf of others,the organisations exonerated to the minister of any involvement in the same.
The organisations insisted that the minister could not have been found culpable in a contract scam when he had been instrumental in the reduction of enrollment cost for NECO, UTME /JAMB among others.
Recall that an online news platform had allegedly linked the Education Minister to a contract scam at the University of Gusau to the tune of N3billion meant for the construction of perimeter Wall Fence around the university.
Besides roping the Minister in, several millions of naira was also alleged to have exchanged hands between Adamu’s relatives, including the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Male Buni, the Governor’s younger brother, Adamu’s wife, Hajiya Ladi Adamu, Alhaji Gambo Muazu among others.
It was also alleged that currently, the vice chancellor of the federal university of Gusau, Prof. Magaji Garba is cooling off at the holding cell of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC in Abuja.
But the Youth Council leadership frowned at the allegations, describing those behind the propaganda as plotting desperate attempts to disparage the image of the Minister of Education and derail the spate of progress being recorded in the education sector, all in a bid to paint the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in a bad light.
“The meeting between the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Global Initiative for Mass Education, Civil Society Advocacy Groups for Accountability and Probity, Concerned Citizens for Educational Development, Guardians of Democracy and Development, Transparency Advocacy Initiative, beamed her lens of scrutiny on the progress being made in the educational sector with particular emphasis on the transparency measures being put in place for robust development of the sector”.
“It is therefore with utmost dismay that the National Youth Council of Nigeria and her partners have noted the desperate attempts to disparage the image of the Minister of Education and derail the spate of progress being recorded in the educational sector all in a bid to paint the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in a bad light”.
“The recent libelous publication by 247ureports.com and misleading headlines by Sahara Reporters alongside some yellow journalism platforms targeted at roping a scandal around the neck of Mallam Adamu Adamu is one which all true patriots and stakeholders in the education sector must condemn totally”, it added.
“The attack is not only geared at crippling the recovery the education sector is recording after the devastating Covid-19 lockdown but also a subtle smear strategy against the government”.
According to the communique, available records show that neither did the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission nor any other anti-graft agency invite the Minister.
On issues of financial efficiency, prudence and fiscal transparency, it disclosed that the Ministry of Education has performed excellently with no room for criminal elements contrary to what those scandal mongering publications would have us believe.
The Group noted, “Our detailed findings show the following developments under Mallam Adamu Adamu which strongly affirm his knack for transparency and fiscal accountability: Between 2016 and 2020, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board remitted over ten billion Naira to the Federal Government contrary to the prior norm where these monies where diverted to private pockets, the National Examination Council has also remitted monies running into several billions of naira into the the Federation coffers. As a result of the transparency measures which have conserved funds, the Federal government subsequently reduced UTME, NECO and BSCE exams”.
“As a result of efficient utilization of funds, TETFund has been reinvigorated to expand the project execution capacity in public tertiary Institutions thereby addressing some key demands by ASUU”.