Funding Nigerians’ education abroad with illicit funds

IT has long been public knowledge that most occupants of political offices in Nigeria send their children to schools abroad due to the virtual collapse of quality education in Nigeria.

A non-resident scholar of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Matthew Page (who is described as “a Nigerian”), in a study titled: “West African Elites’ Spending on UK Schools and Universities: A Closer Look”, has accused Nigeria’s politically-exposed persons, PEPs, of perpetrating money laundering by using the education of their children and wards abroad as a conduit pipe.

The report, which was commissioned by the United Kingdom government, according to its High Commissioner in Nigeria, Catriona Laing, was meant “to better understand the risk to the UK from illicit finance in West Africa.

We will now consider the report’s finding and take a view on what if any further action is required”.

Page’s report also accused the UK government of reluctance to acknowledge the shortcomings of its anti-money laundering policies or learn lessons from recent anti-corruption failures, especially as many UK schools are clearly complicit in matriculating students linked to known or even convicted “kleptocrats”.

We are waiting to see exactly what the UK government is going to do about this unwholesome finding which hurts both the UK and the victim countries. Nigeria bears the main brunt of public treasury fleecing to educate the children of PEPs abroad while virtually abandoning public-funded education.

We suggest they start by monitoring the sources of funds being used to pay for the children and wards of these Nigerian PEPs and consider rusticating/deporting any student being sponsored with stolen or illicit public funds.

The UK has an obligation to show its sincerity in commissioning the inquiry by the resolve with which it deals with the proven cases of money laundering.

In spite of the much-vaunted “anti-corruption wars” in Nigeria, the country has almost lost its capacity to bring culprits to book because of the nature of the system we run.

Without the assistance of developed countries and international bodies, corruption in the topmost political circles in Nigeria virtually has no deterrence.

The deterioration in the quality of education in Nigerian schools is greatly responsible for the poverty, underdevelopment and growing instability in Nigeria.

It also affects advanced countries like the UK by way of the quantum of unwanted emigrants seeking better life.

It is in the UK’s interest that Nigerian leaders are encouraged to educate the bulk of their children in well-funded and run domestic schools.


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