There's too much corruption in Nigerian tertiary institutions — ICPC

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has described the high volume of petitions alleging corruption in the academic community as worrisome.

ICPC Chairman Mr Ekpo Nta

According to the Provost of Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, Professor Sola Akinrinade and the chairman of ICPC, Barrister Ekpo Nta, who spoke at the at the opening ceremony of the National Workshop on Academic Integrity for Nigerian Universities in Abuja, the ICPC, the National University Commission (NUC), the National Board for Technical Education and National Commission for Colleges of Education have been bombarded by petitions from Nigerian tertiary institutions, signaling a negative trend that must be addressed.

Professor Akinrinade revealed that the ICPC and NUC jointly conducted a pilot study on corruption in three Nigerian Universities, reflecting geopolitical zones, to establish the depth of the problems.

Akinrade said the high incidence of corruption in the university system threatens Nigeria's future.

"Corruption in any form is unacceptable, but corruption in our tertiary institutions strikes at the very heart of the future of this country," he said.

The Professor said the corruption has also affected qualification held by Nigerian graduates, which are no more a reflection of their abilities.

He said the fight against corruption must be done by creating and fostering attitudinal change, reorientation of values.

Nta on his part said the focus should be on preventing corruption rather than petitions.

"We don’t want to dwell more on corruption petitions some of which are time consuming, worrisome and baseless, but we prefer a partnership on preventive mechanism for the good of our system," the ICPC boss said.

Also speaking at the workshop, the Chairman of the NUC, Professor Julius Okojie, said universities should focus on "values and ethical standards" rather than "the desire to award degrees and certificates".

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