Posted by News Express | 8 February 2018 | 931 times
A new report by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has revealed how “most allegations of corruption in federal universities such as unfair allocation of grades; contract inflation, truncation of staff’s salary on the pay roll; employment of unqualified staff; Senator Dino Melaye’s certificate scandal saga; examination malpractices; sexual harassment; issuance of results for expelled student to graduate; and sales of university certificates for undeserving persons have neither been thoroughly investigated nor punished.”
The report titled “Stealing the future: How federal universities in Nigeria have been stripped apart by corruption” says: “Impunity for corruption in the university system has negatively affected the governance of federal universities and the quality of education received by the students.”
The 58 pages report was launched today at the CITI-HEIGHT Hotels, Sheraton Opebi Link Road, Ikeja, Lagos with the support of MacArthur Foundation. The report presented to the media by Dr. Bolajoko Dixon-Ogbechi Nkemdinim, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Marketing, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos, discloses: “Most of the time lecturers miss classes and they never get punished. Getting a job in the universities is not the question of merit but of connections. Ghost workers syndrome is a problem in the universities.”
According to the report, “There have been cases where staff have used their official status to prevent the administration of justice in their units/departments; universities sometimes recruit mediocre or totally unsuitable candidates in preference to candidates of high merit. Most of the time when non-academic staff are not at their duty posts they never get punished. People with questionable degrees/qualifications paid bribes to get into the university system. In several cases, people employed by federal universities through connection with political authorities.”
The report, which used the University of Lagos and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, as case studies, identified other cases of corruption in the university system to include: “Bribery to get a position; NYSC mobilisation before graduation; facilitating fake transcripts; short-circuiting employment procedures; auctioning university assets without authorisation; politicised disciplinary action; inflated contracts, admission irregularities and racketeering, result falsification; nepotism; sexual harassment; examination question leakages, abetting examination malpractices; and deliberate poor invigilation of examinations.”
According to Dr. Dixon-Ogbechi Nkemdinim, “The research team administered questionnaires and conducted interviews at the main campus and College of Medicine of the University of Lagos. The team also visited the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where the instrument was also administered at its two campuses. The report focuses mainly on federal universities even though there are three different categories of universities in Nigeria namely, federal, state and private universities.”
The report reads in part: “The focus on federal universities is important because the Federal Government of Nigeria is the custodian of tertiary education at the national level and it directs and controls the affairs of the parastatals in charge of tertiary education system in Nigeria to a very large extent.
“We also found several unresolved cases of diversion of university funds for personal use; embezzlement, mismanagement, unmerited allocation of hostel accommodation, discrimination in the allocation of staff quarters; certificate/transcript racketeering; improper use of university assets; inflation of cost of contracts, award of contracts to friends or relatives; and admission racketeering by non-staff.”
The report launch was attended by Mr Femi Falana SAN; Barrister Babatunde Ogala; Dr Olumide Ajayi Director African Leadership Forum; Mrs Jumoke Akiyode; Ms Funmi Oluyede member, National Executive Council of FIDA Nigeria; and representatives of representatives of the media; the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Dr Adeleke Ipaye. They all promised to work with SERAP to address corruption and bribery in the university system. SP Binga from the ICPC specifically promised to look into all the allegations contained in the report.
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