The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has stated that it has discovered 67 universities illegally operating in the country.
ICPC chairman, Ekpo Nta, made the revelation yesterday while presenting a paper on “Corruption and National Security” at the 22nd Annual International Conference on African Literature and English Language (ICALEL) held at theUniversity of Calabar, Cross River State.
He said the commission will accordingly deal with the culprits in line with the law of the land noting that “some persons in the society who are aware of such corruption have decided to keep quiet because they feel it cannot be handled”.
Nta said “in shaping national consciousness positively, ICPC has designed programmes to help in checkmating corruption in the country by supporting and acknowledging the highly effective and strategic socialization role literature and writers have played and also novel ideas that will enrich the fight against corruption.
Our correspondent however gathered that the operatives of the ICPC have launched a massive manhunt against the promoters of the illegal universities with a view to arrest and prosecute them accordingly.
The ICPC Chairman laid emphasis on the symbiotic relationship between corruption and national security which prevents good governance, sustainable growth and development adding that “corruption thrives in situations where there is little or no transparency in decision-making processes. Wherever public officials, occupying positions that confer major economic or social benefits, enjoy wide discretionary powers with little or no accountability, there is tremendous opportunity for corruption,” Nta said.
Nta, who disclosed that the discovery was as a result of the commission’s investigation added that in preventing corruption, ICPC has established Anti-Corruption Monitoring Units(ACTUS) in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the Nigerian universities.
To check corruption in the education sector, Nta said: “In partnership with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) we have developed and infused core-values into schools curricula for teaching ethics and civics in our primary and secondary schools including Teacher’s Guides thereto. ICPC has formed anti-corruption clubs in secondary schools and anti-corruption vanguards in tertiary institutions”.
He gave the assurance that the commission shall continue to collaborate with the academia to reposition the society positively.