The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has targeted Nigerian universities as part of preventive measures in the long-term strategy in the anti-corruption fight.
The Commission also plans to engage management and staff of tertiary institutions to work toward imbibing a culture of transparency and accountability in the overall interest of the country.
The Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, speaking during the opening of a seminar with management and staff of the National Universities Commission in Abuja, yesterday, lamented that corruption remains endemic in the society, retarding growth and economic development.
Represented by the ICPC’s Head of Anti-corruption Monitoring Unit, Mr. Justin Kwasi, Nta said approaches hitherto adopted by the commission have not been very successful, hence the need to switch to employing preventive measures.
“This way, it may be slow, but eventually we would win the war. The tertiary education sector is very crucial to the message of anti-corruption, and we need the serious cooperation of everyone to succeed,” he said.
Nta added that the commission has resolved to engage all citizens, in and out of public service, to encourage citizens to show personal commitments in shunning corruption, and to encourage organisations to institute transparent operational processes.
He urged the management of the NUC to offer rewards to those who adhere to rules, and not hesitate to punish those who erred.
“But for those flies that want to follow the corpse into the grave, we have a robust investigation and prosecution system. Do not hesitate to report cases of breaches to us, even where it affects your friend or neighbour,” Nta advised.
He noted that the commission in recent times has had to sack staff that falsified their papers, has seen to the closure of illegal universities, and ensured appropriate monitoring of universities to ensure compliance with regulations.
Okojie added that the anti-corruption fight can only be won when there is attitudinal change across board.