The Provost of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission Academy, Prof. Sola Akinrinade, has identified fraud, sexual harassment and certificate forgery as some of the factors affecting the development of the educational system in Nigeria.
Akinrinade, who is a former Vice-Chancellor of the Osun State University, said this in Iwo during a symposium organised in honour of the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of Bowen University, Prof. Mathews Ojo.
He urged the governing councils of Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions in the country to always carry out detailed background checks on whoever would be appointed into offices to avoid damaging the credibility of the institutions.
The provost said, “If you appoint people who lack integrity to important offices, they will ruin the institutions and the lives of the people there. Appoint people who can be trusted with the responsibilities of guarding resources, lives of people and ensuring that the products of their institutions can raise their heads and shoulders with pride anywhere in the world.
“The challenges facing the university system are many. They include sexual harassment, corruption, fraud, certificate forgery and other vices. They are killing the educational system of the country.
“The responsibility of the universities is to ensure that they check all the relevant documents of both the teaching and non-teaching staff, their academic background and the moral behaviour of their students. This, with the support of stakeholders, will restore sanity to the system.”
Also speaking on contemporary issues in federal universities, the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, identified unionism, sex-for-marks, lack of capacity and poor facilities as some of the major challenges facing government institutions in Nigeria.
Noting that academic corruption, such as certificate forgery, had been a major problem at OAU for a long time, Ogunbodede said the university was committed to fighting corruption and other vices capable of soiling its hard-earned image.
He urged Nigerian universities to use ICT and strive to admit foreign students so as to meet the standard required.
He said, ‘’When you have a university that does not admit foreign students, you are most likely unable to get the required standard. We are setting up an international centre so that we can encourage them to learn our cultures. The US citizens are particularly interested in learning about our cultures.”
He also urged stakeholders to join hands with institutions facing different challenges to tackle the issues and bring sanity to Nigerian university system.