Lecturers’ Strike, Corruption Undermining Our Efforts In Educational Sector – Buhari
The President, Mohammadu Buhari said the corruption in the educational sector has undermined the government’s efforts and investments over the years.
Buhari said this on Tuesday in his address at a summit organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on diminishing corruption in the public sector held at the state house, Abuja.
The president said members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), who have been on strike for eight months, are also complicit.
“Incessant strikes especially by unions in the tertiary education often imply that the 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,” he said.
The president said the inclusion of education on the concurrent list of the constitution shows the priority given to the sector.
Buhari urged critics and the media to look into how internally generated revenues of the education institutions are expended to address corruption in the system.
“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 said.
“I call 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. Let me also implore the unions to work with the government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.
“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.
“I am happy to note that ICPC is investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment as an abuse of power in our educational institutions. I approve and encourage them to continue to do so.”
Buhari said the federal government alone cannot bear the cost of funding education due to “declining resources”.
He encouraged academics to attract endowments and grants to universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education similar to what is obtainable in other countries.
Other dignitaries present at the event organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, with the theme ‘Corruption and the Education Sector’, were its Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu; and the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega.