The Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offence (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Olufunmileyi Owasanoye, has said that corruption is everywhere including tertiary institutions in the country.
Prof. Owasanoye disclosed this while inaugurating the student’s wing of ICPC University of Calabar Chapter, tagged ‘Students’ Anticorruption Vanguard’, (SAV) in Calabar, Cross River State.
Owasanoye, who was represented by the board’s commissioner in charge of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Sola Shodipo, said that corruption was everywhere including tertiary institutions, hence, the need to involve stakeholders in the education sector to combat the menace.
“The Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offence (ICPC) has taken its war against corruption to tertiary institutions as the board’s students’ wing berths in the University of Calabar (Unical).
He added, “SAV was one of the initiatives of the anti-corruption agency intended to directly involve students of tertiary institutions in the fight against corruption in the country.”
The ICPC boss commended the VC and his management team for the collaboration and the strides recorded in ensuring that corruption is defeated in the University.
On his part, Prof. Akpagu said that his administration is committed to the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari’s adding that the University remains the first in the country to introduce anti-corruption as a course of study.
Akpagu maintained that the desire of some Nigerians to do things the wrong away as well embezzlement of public funds is the key problems militating against the development of the country.
He charged the new SAV executives to do their best to justify the confidence reposed on them noting that they were carefully selected from among over 40,000 students in the University to work as an eye of the anti-corruption agency.
While disclosing that some of the university staff was under investigation for different cases of corruption including certificate, admission and employment racketeering, he lamented that some people are forging his signature to give employment.
“We are here today as partners and not enemies of the ICPC. Our commitment to the anti-corruption war of the present administration is total and we have demonstrated this by becoming the first University in Nigeria to establish Anti-corruption Study as a course.
“We may not have achieved our set goals yet but it’s a right step at the right direction. In Nigeria, it may be new but we want to catch them young by teaching the younger generation the danger of corruption.
“The problem of this country is doing things the wrong way and embezzlement of public funds by some privileged individuals. In Nigeria, money meant for the development of the country ends up in people’s pockets. Some individuals in this country are richer than state. So, for us, the creation of this students wing of the ICPC was a well-thought initiative”, he said.
He explained further that “The month I became VC was when TSA started with many other measures to ensure prudence usage of public funds. We are not trying to claim that we are saints or singing our praises but what we have achieved that people are talking about today were achieved with the same funds or even less than what was available to other administrations.
“Corruption is bad so we’ll continue to support government for it to be completely eliminated because that’s the only way that this country can grow”. Earlier, the Coordinator of the SAV, Prof. Lulu Uwatt in her opening remarks lamented that corruption in Nigeria has “assumed status of being ageless because of the great support given by human insincerity and the unprecedentedness to give corruption a real fight”.
She charged the “ICPC, school management and volunteers to watch each other’s back, have sincerity and unity of purpose and work relentlessly towards sanitizing the University community”.
Elebor Prince Edede, the President of SAV said that “the efforts of the Prof. Zaa Akpagu Led management and ICPC to curb corruption in this institution cannot be overemphasized. During our training, we were told of the VC’s effort to combat corruption in the University and we thank him for that. For the task at hand, we pledge to do our best to ensure corruption is eliminated on campus.”
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