… confers integrity award on policeman for rejecting $200,000 robbery bribe 

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja

PRESIDENT Mumammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, accused the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, of being complicit in corruption in the tertiary education sector in the country.

President Buhari made the accusation in his address during the fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector, jointly organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Read Also: ASUU strike: FG approves CONUA, as academic union

He also accused lecturers of deployment of disguised terminologies to perpetrate corruption in the ivory towers, a development he said impinges the fight against the menace in the education sector.

He also accused management of tertiary institutions of not being transparent in the expenditure of the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, asking stakeholders and the media to beam their searchlight on it.

According to the President, “incessant strikes, especially by unions in the tertiary education sector, often imply that government is grossly underfunding education.

“But I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.

“Government and stakeholders in the educational sector are concerned about the manifestation of various forms of corruption in that sector.

“I am aware that students in our universities, for example, use different terminologies to describe different forms of corruption they experience on our campuses.

“There is ‘sorting’ or cash-for-marks/grades, sex-for-marks, sex-for-grade alterations, examination malpractice, and so on.

“Sexual harassment has assumed an alarming proportion. Other forms of corruption include pay-roll padding or ghost workers, lecturers taking up full time appointments in more than one academic institution, including private institutions, lecturers writing seminar papers, projects and dissertations for students for a fee, and admission racketeering, to mention only the most glaring corrupt practices.”

The President, however, commended the ICPC for its due diligence in investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment as abuse of power in the country’s educational institutions.

He assured that “Government will continue to fund education within realistically available revenue” while urging stakeholders, including the media, to “equally advocate transparency in the amount generated internally by educational institutions and how such funds are expended.”

President Buhari further stated that, “Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions.”

He called on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions.

He also implored the Unions to work with government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.

Highlights of the event was the conferment of the prestigious 2022 Public Service Integrity award by the President on Chief Superintendent of Police, Amah for rejecting a $200,000 bribe from robbers.

Amah is the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Nasarawa Division in Kano State.

The decision to confer the award on Amah was based on the recommendation of the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, last month.

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