By Mohamed Lamin Banya
Sierra Leone’s Information and Communications Minister, Mohamed Rahman Swaray has reiterated government’s commitment to pay the normal public University grant-in-aid fees for students of Limkokwing University, instead of the earlier agreed $3,000 and $2,500 by the erstwhile government.
He was responding to questions on whether the government will be terminating the said contract following the Commission of Inquiry presentation by Commissioner Biobele Georgewill with a section indicating that the Education Ministry was the most corrupt specifically on the Limkokwing contract.
Erstwhile President Koroma’s government through the Education Ministry in 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the University to have a campus in Sierra Leone. However, President Bio’s government refused to pay the earlier agreed amount by the former government but decided to pay the normal grant-in-aid for government-sponsored students across all universities. The government’s decision in recent weeks however raised a lot of tension from the students.
Mr. Swaray stated that, Justice Biobele’s summary presentation exonerated them, noting that, they had been saying that the earlier agreement was fraudulent and that it put the students in a quagmire.
“It was badly conceived, poorly implemented and as a government, we raised the red flag even before the Commission started,” he added.
President Bio’s government since assuming governance has been trying to reach an understanding with the university administration that could see all the students start taking lectures.
He went on to say, they had decided to pay for the students even before the Commission started, noting that, the government’s position is still to pay for the students but at the same rate payable to other students in public universities.
“Which means, we are not going to pay the $3,000 and $2,500 respectively for Degree and Diploma students,” he said. He maintained that, they will be paying the equivalent of what they are paying for all public university students as Sierra Leone Grant-in-Aid, otherwise known as SLG.