June 23, 2024

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Kalejaiye Commends ICPC For Tackling Corruption In Education Sector

3 min read

Vincent John

High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye

The traditional ruler in Otumara community of Lagos State, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye, has urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to strengthen its efforts in its fight against corruption in public institutions.

While commending the chairman of the commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, for tackling corruption in the nation’s education sector, Kalejaiye disclosed that corruption is at its peak in government parastatal and agencies, while urging the commission to focus its attention to it.

To curb corruption in the education sector, the ICPC beamed its searchlight on the activities of tertiary institutions in the country.

Consequently, the Commission uncovered 62 illegal degree awarding institutions and a fake NYSC orientation camp.

Reacting to the gallant strides, Kalejaiye said school proprietors and tutors extort and exploit parents as they trade grades for financial gratifications thereby compromising standards.

He stated that the establishment of the Anti-corruption Vanguards in schools by the ICPC will put a stop to this anomaly.

According to him, it will in no small measure boost the commission’s fight against corruption in the education sector, particularly, tertiary institution.

“The anti-corruption agency, ICPC, under the chairmanship of Prof Bolaji Owasanoye has taking the fight against corruption to another level by beaming his searchlight on the education sector. I therefore commend the commission for the establishment of the anti-corruption vanguards in schools across the country” he said.

In a system study conducted by the ICPC to identify operations that provided leeway for corrupt practices in the university system, the Commission, according to its chairman, Prof Owasanoye, discovered different forms of infractions which include but not limited to bribery, gratification, over invoicing, over-inflation of contract values, award of contracts to oneself and cronies, absenteeism and certificate forgery amongst others.

Reacting to this discoveries, Kalejaiye applauded the chairman of the Commission while also calling for the extension of the investigation to government agencies and parastatals.

Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman, ICPC

Stating his reasons for the extension, he said, the infractions identified, he alleged, are evident in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government where civil servants and public officers operate without any recourse to due process and rule of law.

He said, “The discovery of the itemised infractions in tertiary institutions by the ICPC is disheartening.

It was shocking. I know that different forms of atrocities are committed across tertiary institutions but I never knew it existed in this magnitude.

It is alarming to see the enormity of infractions committed ans how firmly root corruption has eaten deep into our system as a nation.

I cannot imagine the extent of corruption that goes on within the civil service and the MDAs.

To unearth this and more, I am appealing to the Commission to investigate the activities of Government Agencies and Parastatals vis-a-vis award of contracts and other activities relating to finances. I am sure the investigation will worth the while as scandals and daunting financial corruption will be discovered.

Many of these public officers steal government properties and convert them to their own. They loot the treasury to enrich themselves and their cronies. They auction government properties and machineries like cars, trucks and other office equipment to their allies without following due process. The ICPC should investigate all these to take the economy out of the crisis situation corruption has plunged it in.

At this stage, I must commend the Commissioner of the ICPC in Lagos state, Mr Kabiru Elelu and his team for the good work he has been doing in the state. And I equally want to advice the commission to ensure that all the loots and properties that were auctioned illegally must be recovered and perpetrators and all officers concerned be prosecuted because government should be for the benefit of all and not for the benefit of selected few.

Over invoicing, contract values inflation and award of contracts to self and allies pervade government parastatals and these are compounding our economic woes as a country.”

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