The Acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar, says fighting corruption is not only about locking people up in prison but includes moral suasion of the society.
He said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop for, Directors, Permanent Members and Deans of State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEB) of the 19 northern states which was organized by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) in collaboration with the Foundation for Transparency and Accountability (FTA) recently in Abuja.
The Ag. ICPC Chairman who was represented by Mr. Akeem Lawal, Head Investigation Department, explained that as much as ICPC has successfully prosecuted many public officers and had them sent to jail, that has not been enough to eradicate corruption just like executing armed robbers in the past had not been enough to eradicate robbery. He stressed the need for more enlightenment and education of the people against corruption as that would ultimately lead to prevention.
Dr. Abubakar also urged the participants to see themselves as factors that can help in the fight against corruption and went further to say that the participants were tasked with a huge responsibility to show integrity in the handling of funds meant for infrastructure of public schools, adding that as they manage SUBEB in their various capacities, they must be conscious of the need for honesty and transparency in carrying out their duties which impact on future leaders of the society.
The Ag. Chairman hoped that they would work with ICPC in fostering Nigeria’s development, especially in the education sector.
While delivering his keynote address, the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr. Hamid Bobboyi commended ICPC for organizing the programme, saying that it “was timely, strategic and commendable”.
He reminded the participants that the worst form of corruption in basic education was the provision of poor quality education to the “ teeming millions of Nigerian children”, while noting that combating corruption in this sector would require the concerted efforts of UBEC , SUBEBs and ICPC.
Dr. Bobboyi therefore hoped that they would imbibe the culture of prudence, transparency and accountability in running basic education in their respective states.
Earlier, the Provost of ACAN, Prof. Sola Akinrinade, in his welcome address, had said that the programme was aimed at equipping the participants with “skills and values that would enable them block gaps that lead to corrupt practices in the education sector”.
He went further to say that instead of just talking, they must take steps to make positive changes where possible in order to make the fight against corruption effective.