Many of the appointees nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime are individuals of shady characters, ICPC chairman Bolaji Owasanoye has revealed.
Mr Owasanoye disclosed that many of the regime’s “prospective appointees” were not fit for purpose because of their crisis of credibility ranging from financial impropriety and abuse of hard drugs to failing code of conduct standards.
The ICPC chair stated this in Abuja at the annual ceremony of the ‘4th National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector’.
“As part of the efforts to sanitise the public service and upscale integrity, the commission has been collaborating with the OHCSF to flush out fake appointments and screen candidates for appointment to the position of permanent secretaries, amongst other initiatives,” Mr Owasanoye explained.
He added, “The findings thus far indicate that many prospective appointees are implicated in financial impropriety, corrupt practice, failure of code of conduct standards and substance abuse.”
According to him, the commission, in collaboration with the Budget Office and stakeholders, met with some MDAs on the recurring surpluses in their payroll to determine proactive measures to improve the budget process and separate outright fraud from administrative lapses.
Regarding corruption in the education sector, he explained that ICPC reviewed special funds meant to improve education, such as UBEC and TETFUND, which revealed continued abuses, breaches of procurement standards, and compromise of statutory mandates.
He added that a system study and review on SUBEB in six states from 2019 to 2020 revealed that the intention of UBE law to support states to improve basic education was frustrated by a lack of commitment by governors in not providing matching grants, amongst other defaults.
“The capacity and commitment of states and tertiary institutions to access UBE fund and TETFUND respectively as anticipated by law remain highly questionable,” said the ICPC chief. “In support of the government’s effort to improve revenue generation, the commission continues to investigate the diversion of tax and other statutory revenues as part of routine investigation and has recovered N1.264 billion this fiscal year.”
Mr Owasanoye added that the anti-graft agency collaborated with the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to prevent corruption in the education sector.
“This year, we have chosen the theme: ‘Corruption and the Education Sector’ because corruption in education has been rightly described as stealing the future education being the medium for the transmission of knowledge and values,” the ICPC chief noted. “Once the education sector is corrupted, the foundation for future ethical leadership and labour force is destroyed.”
He mentioned that corruption in education manifested in different ways, including recruiting unqualified or unfit persons to teach at primary, secondary or tertiary levels.
He also said admission racketeering, examination malpractice, diversion of revenue for and within the sector, operation of illegal academic institutions, especially at the tertiary level, abuse of power and procurement rules by management were things of concern.
“With JAMB and DSS, we conducted in 2021 a series of undercover operations across the country on corruption in the university admissions processes leading to the busting of syndicates and arrest of its leaders responsible for compromising IJMB and JUPEB,” added Mr Owasanoye.
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