The Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Sierra Leone has been named in Grant-in-aid scam.
This was disclosed by the Director of Internal Audit at the Ministry of Finance, Kandeh Sesay as he testified before Justice Biobele Georgewill at Commissions of Inquiry at Commission Room No. 1.
Sesay stated that there was excess in grant-in-aid payments to students of Limkokwing University.
He told the commission that a Memorandum of Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and Limkokwing University made provision for the government to provide at least 1,200 grant-in- aid scholarships to students who have been given acceptance letters to pursue higher education in the University, in which case Limkokwing will to provide one scholarship in every ten scholarships offered by the government of Sierra Leone.
He noted that the cost of Degree and Diploma courses are USD3, 000 and USD2, 500 respectively per annum respectively.
He continued that there are 1,520 students enrolled at the university but mentioned that the government of Sierra Leone is sponsoring 1,081 students for undergraduate degree programmes and 394 students for diploma programmes, with 45 private students.
He revealed that based on the documents submitted by the Ministry of Education and the University, they were unable to substantiate that the University was providing the 10% scholarship in the (MOA).
He observed that associated interview reports were not presented to the auditors by the Ministry of Education which they said was because the computer that has the information crashed.
Sesay explained that the total amount payable for the first cohorts of students for the 2016/2017 academic year was USD 3,406,000.
He furthered that the first installment of 50% payment which was USD 1,703,000 which is equivalent to Le 9,877,400,000 was paid to the university and that the second installment of 50% which was paid by the government amounted to USD 1,703,000 which is Le 12,302,659,333.
He noted that the total number of verified students for the 2016/2017 academic year was 1,092 instead of 1,200.
He maintained that the government paid excess for 108 students amounting to Le 1,827,000,000 for the first academic year.
He stated that the Ministry of Education has the responsibility to supply the Ministry of Finance the number of students’ government should pay for because they are in charge of the grant-in-aid scheme.
He said the total claim by the university for the academic year 2017/2018 year sent by the university to the Ministry of Education amounted to Le 25,915,262,260 for the first cohort of students for the second academic year.
Sesay concluded that the matter remains unresolved.