Official corruption destroying education in Nigeria, says Jega
Ex-INEC chairman Attahiru Jega says official corruption is ruining the education sector in Nigeria, warning that no nation will develop without adequate and appropriate investment in education.
Mr Jega stated this in his keynote address at the 4th National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector with the theme ‘Corruption and the Education Sector’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
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.”
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