Cambridge college in Ikeja, Lagos, has sued the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) over an unpaid N17m debt.
According to The Punch, the sum is the balance of tuition meant for 16 indigent students of the state who had their A level/Foundational Class at the college in 2015.
Cambridge college is one of selected Lagos schools being owed tuition under the scholarship scheme introduced by the Rivers state government for its brilliant indigent pupils.
In a statement of claim filed before an Ikeja High Court the authorities of the collage asked the RSSDA to pay the balance and N1m damages for breach of contract.
Godwin Poi, the acting executive director of the agency, said that Governor Nyesom Wike had authorised the payment of the tuition, especially for the final year students. He added that the state had also written to the schools to show its commitment to paying the backlog.
However, Wale Odunlami, the director of Cambridge College, told journalists that the institution had no choice but to seek a redress.
“The tuition has been outstanding since January 2015 and I expected the state government to have paid up by now because government is a continuum. Initially they were apologetic but things changed immediately after the Supreme Court judgment, which affirmed Governor Nyesom Wike.
“I wonder why the state government is reneging on this contract. This money is for services rendered. This was a good legacy of the former administration and I believe that you inherit both liabilities and assets as a government. The state government could afford to spend money for a thanksgiving service after the Supreme Court judgment.
“That money was enough to pay the tuition for 10 indigent pupils. There was a time a commissioner was put in charge of the RSSDA and I called her but what she said was shocking. She said they did not have any money to pay and that she blamed those who brought the pupils to us without having any money. It was shocking and I expected something more reasonable and conciliatory,” he said.
When contacted, Kingsley Uranta, the manager of media and communications of the RSSDA, denied that the Rivers state government had stopped the scholarship scheme. However, he added that he received correspondence from Cambridge college, and the agency was already handling the issues.