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Academics charge colleagues on fight against corruption


The Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji (FEDPOLEL), Ondo State, Prof Emmanuel Fasakin, has identified the education system and academia as critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption in the country. 

Fasakin said this yesterday during the 2nd Foundation Day Lecture of the institution, titled, ‘Building a Corruption-free Nation: the Role of the Academia,’ declaring corruption as the greatest problem facing the country. 

He lamented that despite the huge potentials and innumerable endowments available in the country, “almost everything that was hitherto good has now been bastardised.
“Corruption has indeed pushed us as a nation to this precarious and highly detrimental situation. It is analogous to the air we breathe and the water we drink.

“Corruption has broken families and institutions; it has collapsed our cultural values and heritage and it has increasingly turned our national aspirations to a mirage of sort.“Every simple thing achieved elsewhere is in Nigeria a mountainous load to move. Nigeria cannot continue to look on helplessly, while corruption continues its devastation of every good thing we cherish.”

The rector, who noted that corruption is everywhere in this country, maintained that the academia should not be indifferent to the national malaise, affirming that it must take the lead in cleansing the nation. He, however, added that “in talking about corruption, only very few Nigerians are qualified. To be qualified to lead a public talk on corruption, you must be someone with unimpeachable character, someone with sterling qualities and stellar authorities. You must be uncontroversial in all circumstances.”

Guest Lecturer and Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, Osogbo, Prof Labo Popoola, canvassed collective efforts, saying the discourse was apt because of its national significance and prevalence in the education sector. 

He stated: “It has manifested in so many ways, such as inflated contracts, maladministration, misappropriation of funds, embezzlement, stealing, examination malpractice, admission fraud, sale of unauthorised teaching materials, sexual harassment, etc.”

Popoola demystified the myths behind the prevalence of corruption in the country, identifying good governance and repositioning the academia in Nigeria to fight corruption and other social vices. 

Nonetheless, he listed the challenges facing the academia to include underfunding, poor planning, collapse of academic culture, uncertainties, short termism and blurred vision, adding, however, that the academia remains the hope to rediscovering our values as a people, to reposition us to rediscover our huge potentials as a people and to unleash our energies for the sustainable development of this potentially great country. 

He called for the academia to first rid itself of the pervasive vices that are gradually becoming the norm in its constituency, and thereafter, reposition itself to help society, adding: “We will need to facilitate mindset change and enhance policy shifts towards the future we desire. This will require leadership, commitment, transformational approach, risk-taking and ethics. “We must drop egocentrism for egocentrism. Upon all, there is the urgent need for deliberate measures towards drastically reducing corruption at all levels.” 

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