The Niger State Government said it has uncovered 7,000 ghost students on the payroll of its scholarship board.
The commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mohammad Nuhu, who made this known to newsmen in Minna on Monday, said the discoveries were made during a verification exercise.
Nuhu said the discovery had saved government over N125 million, noting that the achievement was a result of the introduction of a scratch card issued to all scholarship beneficiaries.
He, however, wondered how students were able to beat the security of various universities to fill registers made for eligible scholarship beneficiaries on government request with fictitious names.
The commissioner said from now on scholarship applicants must register online for the award via the ministry’s website currently in the making.
According to him, the system is designed with advance features that will prevent any applicant from registering twice and can also detect fake applicants.
Nuhu said the ministry was committed to payment of scholarship and disclosed that N704 million was paid to 58,000 students in 2011, 2012 and 2013 academic sessions.
He said further that arrangements had been concluded for the payment of the 2014 academic session’s scholarship of N94 million for 9,000 students in various institutions nationwide.