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Buhari urged to start anti-corruption war on multi-billion naira education corruption industry

A civil society organisation (CSO) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to target his anti-corruption war at the organized crime in the Nigeria education sector.

A civil society organisation (CSO) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to target his anti-corruption war at the organized crime in the Nigeria education sector.

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The group, Exam Ethics Marshals International (EEMI), noted that examination malpractices have become an organised crime in Nigerian, hence the need for urgent action.

According to a Punch report, the group also proposed an eight-point programme of action to fight this crime.

EEMI founding chairman, Ike Onyechere, pointed out that government officials in the ministries and examination councils are major players in the multi-billion naira education corruption industry.

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“Examination malpractice has metamorphosed into organised criminal activity like drug and human trafficking, kidnapping, advanced fee scams," Onyechere said.

"It is now a criminal enterprise controlled by criminal syndicates, with links and members embedded in education ministries, agencies, boards and institutions; as well as in examination councils."

“The street value of organised exam fraud operated by syndicates is estimated to be in excess of N100bn per year."

Citing a 2007 exercise to identify schools and individuals involved in education corruption, Onyechere lamented that those involved in the crime operate with impunity because they are backed by powerful persons.

"In Nigeria, exam fraud syndicates operate with extreme impunity because it is risk-free on account of lack of political will to implement sanctions and because almost all categories of stakeholders, including some political leaders, are members of exam fraud syndicates."

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“The ministry also released a blacklist of 232 individuals removed as examiners, supervisors and invigilators of public examinations for aiding and abetting malpractices.

"Among them are officials of federal and state ministries of education.

"They were supposed to suffer administrative and other sanctions, but nothing happened after the names were advertised in national newspapers."

He then called on Buhari to re-launch the examination malpractice initiative to name and shame invigilators, supervisors and schools involved in examination malpractice.

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