The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Nigeria has shut down 62 illegal degree-awarding institutions.
Speaking at a function in Abuja, the ICPC Chairman Professor Bolaji Owasanoye also said the Commission closed down a fake NYS orientation camp in its bids to tackle corruption in the education sector.
Professor Owasanoye said that Commission has sent its findings and recommendations to the Minister of Education for implementation.
He added that the ICPC set up anti-corruption vanguards in schools to push the fight against corruption, particularly tertiary institutions.
Owasanoye hinted that the ICPC conducted System Study and Review in the university system to identify activities that fueled corruption.
The study discovered bribery, gratification, sexual harassment and sexual inducement, examination malpractices, over invoicing and over-inflation contract values.
According to Veteran Journalist Babajide Otitoju on Sunday’s edition of Journalists’ Hangout, there are still many of them that we do not know about.
He noted that several states have done a similar cleanup including Kaduna state.
“These are schools that issue certificates to students; some of them issue fake certificates to people who did not attend school.
“The Kaduna state government also discovered that some of its staff were products of these backstreet institutions and they were dismissed.
He noted that it was a good thing that the ICPC has embarked on this clean submission but what is also shocking is the discovery of a fake NYSC orientation camp.
Mr Otitoju said some people choose not to allow the NYSC decide where to post them but rather they start cutting corners.
“These are the same people who fall into the hands fake NYSC persons because they have gone to school.
“When they are told that their postings can be influenced to good places where they will be well paid, they place them in a location, collect money from them, and when the time comes, they let them go, only to discover they have been duped and their time wasted.”
The veteran journalist stated that it is worrisome that these people have been busted not once, not twice, but they still exist because there are people who rather wait until they are duped than to follow the due process.
According to Otitoju, Nigerians like to bypassing structures in a fraudulent manner.
“These are the people that easily fall into the hands of these con-men.
“These are difficult times in our country that even the con-men and women, find these times difficult and troubling. They are also not resting on their oars.
“These guys are also devising all kinds of means.
“We owe it to ourselves as a duty to be extra vigilant so that we don’t fall into their traps.
According to Mr. Otitoju, the essence of the NYSC is for people to know their country better.
The service was meant to help us achieve the goal of integration after the Civil War. But some people want to decide where to do their youth service.
“They want to do their youth service in cities like Lagos and Abuja. They do not wish to go elsewhere. These are the same people who will set up a bogus NYSC camp for them and take their money; they will pay because some of them are children of rich persons.
“NYSC has also made it much more difficult to change where you will serve your service in the past.
Data from the Corruption Perception Index shows that Nigeria has moved to number 154.
Nigeria moved from being 147 in 2016, 2015 to 136, whcich according to expert is the best achievement in the last 8 years.
But in 2017, Nigeria moved up again from 136 and today Nigeria has been ranked number 154.
According to Kolawole Johnson, a journalist, corruption is not limited to one area. Not extortion in public offices, nor contract inflation alone. It’s most likely the entire system, that is what you have everywhere.
He stated that students who fall into hands of corrupt individuals, largely it is their fault because they are looking for an easy way out.
“It didn’t start from that stage. It started from perhaps they cheated to pass WAEC, they probably even cheated their way to pass JAMB.
“In school many of them are not already to read.
“You see different materials in the exam hall.
“These are the same individuals who shout that Nigeria is bad, making you wonder where they are going and what they plan to do with the kind of void they are creating in the classroom.
“Since they have been taking shortcuts throughout, these are still the same people who are searching for the best locations to complete their main assignment.
“But for some, looking at the situation of the country. They are looking for jobs. They know that if you serve in juicy places, you are likely to be retained. So those ones, even when they don’t have the money, even when they are not from rich homes, they do everything possible to be able to pay such people with the hope that if they’re serving in those juicy places, that it will end up being returned and work there, which will give them some chances of job employment rather.
“However, either the group A or the group B, the people suffer at the end of the day.