ICPC inaugurates anti-corruption, transparency unit at FUTA

By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor

#TrackNigeria The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, (ICPC) saddled with the responsibility of curtailing the negative consequences of corrupt practices, has inaugurated the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA. 

The Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, represented by Mr. Olayinka Ayegbayo administered the Oath of Office on FUTA ACTU members led by its chairman, Professor Babatunde Ajayi.

Presenting a paper titled “Anti-Corruption Fight in the University System, the role of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU)” after the inauguration, Professor Owasanoye defined corruption as the abuse of or misuse of office or position of trust for personal or group benefit, or the exploitation of the system to obtain unmerited benefits. 

He said according to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in a recent study in 2018 on corruption in Nigeria, public higher institutions were also not immune from the bug of corruption. 

He therefore said it is apt to rise up in unison and proffer solutions in dealing with the University situation or aberration bedeviling the University system. 

According to him, the nature or form of corruption in the Universities and elsewhere is not limited to financial or material corruption alone but other practices such as sexual harassment, unfair allocation of grades, favouritism among staff, nepotism, plagiarism, certificate scandals, examination malpractices, sorting, admission irregularities and racketeering, and discrimination in allocation of staff quarters.

He reiterated that the aim of establishing Anti-Corruption fight in the University system and the role of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) are part of the ICPC Preventive Mandate and it arose from a synergy between the Commission and Federal Government. 

The ICPC boss stated that ACTU in each public organization and public higher institutions shall operate as an autonomous outfit and have a direct link with the office of the Chief Executive of the respective establishment.

Owasanoye who described higher institution of learning as the conscience of the nation urged staff and students to live up to expectation to have a better Nigeria.  

He linked this to the Federal Government mantra of “change begins with me” and called on individuals to adopt this mantra.

Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Rufus Ogunsemi reiterated that the present Management in the University has been constantly creating awareness on the need for entrenchment of moral and ethical values, not only in personal lives of individuals but on the institution as a whole.

Fuwape said to complement the activities of ACTU and achieve optimum compliance to rules and regulations the University has developed a range of instruments ensuring that governments efforts in combating all forms of corrupt practices are well entrenched in FUTA.

The Vice-Chancellor said it should be noted that corruption is not limited to stealing and embezzlement of resources alone.

He identified shirking of responsibility, truancy, favouritism and neglect of official duties as other forms of corrupt practices which should not be allowed to take root in FUTA.