Friday, December 2, 2022

Nigeria is doomed if corruption continues, says minister Adamu

• October 5, 2022
Education minister Adamu Adamu, ICPC and EFCC

Education minister Adamu Adamu has admitted that many government officials and private individuals campaigning against corruption perpetrate fraud in Nigeria, warning that the country is doomed if it is not checked.

Mr Adamu explained that Nigeria must fight corruption to liberate the country from graft.

“Nigeria has a bad reputation for being a corrupt society. Nobody will change that except us. At a moment, you see people condemning corruption, and the next moment, they engage in it,” said the minister at the 4th National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector with the theme ‘Corruption and the Education Sector’ on Tuesday in Abuja.

He added, “We have to sincerely fight it. Otherwise, this nation is doomed.” 

He, however, commended the leadership of JAMB for achieving what no other agencies had achieved in the recent past.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who declared the summit open, also presented a ‘Public Service Integrity Award’ to Daniel Amah, a superintendent of police, for displaying exceptional courage and integrity in discharging his duties.

The summit featured a panel discussion on topics such as ‘Corruption and Special Initiatives to Improve Education, e.g. the Safe Schools Initiative’, ‘Corruption at Primary and Secondary Schools – Corrective Measures’, ‘Corruption and Regulatory Initiatives at the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education’ and ‘Corruption at University Level and Education Regulatory Challenges’. 

Meanwhile, during the summit, ex-INEC chairman Attahiru Jega lamented that official corruption is ruining the education sector in Nigeria, warning that no nation will develop without adequate and appropriate investment in education.

The event was organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

“The corruption that takes place within the education sector is a dwarf mirror image of what happens in the wider Nigerian context, albeit to a lesser extent but with comparatively more consequences. Nonetheless, it is significant enough to attract serious attention and appropriate mitigation measures,” noted the former INEC chair.

He added, “In any case, fighting corruption and eliminating it from the Nigerian public sector generally, and the education sector, in particular, is a task that must be done. All hands need to be on deck for the successful accomplishment of this task.”

Mr Jega suggested that to end corruption in the education sector, the culture of whistle-blowing to expose corrupt practices and their perpetrators should be encouraged.

He called for appropriate incentives to and protection for whistle-blowers to encourage them to expose corrupt-related issues to the authority for necessary action. 

“A very good legal framework for the fight against corruption, especially with the aid of whistle-blowing, needs to be enacted, with appropriate incentives and sanctions/punishment, as well as strong institutional mechanisms and agencies for enforcement,” he explained.

Mr Jega also recommended that “already existing anti-corruption institutions, which are doing commendable work, need to be strengthened, adequately resourced and incentivised to increase the tempo and effectiveness of their activities.”

(NAN)

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