The Provost, Anti-Corrupt Academy of Nigeria, Prof. Sola Akinrinade has charged stakeholders in the higher educational sector to play their parts in building an incorruptible educational system.
This was contained in a keynote address he deliveredon Thursday, March 29, 2019, at a symposium organised for the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Professor AbdulRasheedNa’Allah, by the University’s Office of the Resident Life Fellowship Programme (RLFP).
Akinrinade stated that keynote address titled; ``Corruption and the Nigerian Higher Education System: What can/should we do about it?’’aimed to educate members of the public and the University Community on how to competently implement integrated interventions that would further promote Integrity on campuses and curtail corrupt practices in higher education.
``It is our expectation that after this lecture, members of the University Community would have been well equipped, to continue to maintain a safe and orderly KWASU campus environment consistent with academic excellence and integrity, conducive to learning, fostering respect for others and for the University's work of teaching, research and community services.”
He expressed displeasure on the level of damage corrupt practices had done in the academia and how nobody was seeing them as wrongs.
He explained that the corrupt practices in the academia were absenteeism, bribery, cheating, corruption, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, harassment, plagiarism, qualification and credentials fraud, theft, unaccredited programmes, victimisation, wastage, and a host others.
The provost stated that university staff, students and parents were all partakers in the corruption as students are corrupting staff, parents are corrupting staff and staff are corrupting staff.
He reiterated that most perpetrators continued to operate because the system did not identify most of the problems as problems but instead saw the acts as ‘normal’.
``Sadly, we have come to accept all these as “normal”. Hence, the problem is not that there is a “problem” but our collective refusal to admit there is a problem,’’ he concluded.
Speaking at the event, the convener, Coordinator RLFP, Israel Ajuwon, described Prof. Na’Allah as the longest serving Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria by dint of hardwork and sterling qualities of excellence, integrity, innovative leadership and unparalleled commitment in Entrepreneurship and Community Development.
He reminded that KWASU was established with core values of academic integrity and excellence, adding that these were impetus for fostering growth and development for staff and students.
``As important stakeholders of this University, it is on us to strongly uphold integrity and avoid behaviours that could impair the world class teaching and learning environment of our dear University.’’
According to him, Na’Allah has built a sustainable system for the nation by investing in young people, ``he has invested a lot in young people. The future of any nation is its young people and if you want to see a system that will be sustained, you look at what the system is contributing to the development of the young people’’.
He further described the outgoing Vice-Chancellor as a sharp-witted University Administrator who epitomized excellence, integrity, intellectualism, heroism and innovative leadership and was the first to introduced Entrepreneurship as well as Aeronautic and Astronautic Engineering and a few others as courses in a Nigerian University.
The celebrant, in his remark, announced that he would be leaving on July 27, 2019, which would mark the end of his second term, urging the University Community to ensure that KWASU continued to move on.
He said his leaving was an issue of progress, newness and development; praying the University Community to uphold realities about corruption, integrity and bear in mind that a society of greatness must be engineered.
``Let us spend billions on any venture including university, it will never show if we are not mindful of the realities.
``If all you do every year is to turn out graduates who roam the street, do you really qualify that name, university? How do you even admit people and you do not think about those who have left? What are they doing? Are they employed? Are they giving positive contribution to the society?’’, Na’Allah submitted.