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  • 2019-09-13 10:27:27

VC REITERATES COMMITMENT TO STAMPING OUT CORRUPTION

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu has reiterated his administration’s commitment towards stamping out corruption from the institution. Prof. Zana Akpagu said this at the institution’s Senate Chamber during a one- day Workshop with the theme: “Eliminating Corrupt Practices and Enforcing Ethics and Integrity” organized by the Institution Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ATU) held in the main auditorium of the University Senate Chambers. Declaring the workshop open, the Vice Chancellor represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) Prof. (Mrs.) Lucy Udida said the theme was very apt and timely, adding that corruption is counterproductive and capable of destroying the University system hence the need for collaborative efforts to eliminate the menace. He said his administration would not rest on its oars but will ensure that corrupt practices are eliminated from the institution, which he said, would help in the achievement of set goals and objectives. The immediate past Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta Esq. in his paper presentation titled “Instituting and Endorsing viable structures for Ethics and Integrity to thrive in the University System” stated that institutional integrity cannot be achieved without personal integrity. According to him, when an organization or country is lacking ethical values as well as integrity, individuals in such organizations may be seen to be corrupt; adding that unethical behavior cannot thrive where there is a clearly defined code of conduct. While stating that individual unethical behavior is the reason for establishing ACTU and Servicom, he mentioned ways to fix ethical deficits to include reviewing UNICAL codes of conduct and ethics while infusing relevant provisions of the ICPC Act, and encouraging departments to review same. In the same vein, the Commissioner, ICPC, Uyo Zonal Commission, Mr. Olusola Oluseyi Shodipo in his paper Presentation “Manifestation, Causes and Prevention of corruption in Universities” said corruption is a major challenge in every part of the world and every facet of life. Mr. Shodipo said corruption in the University system is regarded as being more destructive than other facets of the educational system because it is believed to have left debilitating consequences on the country. He enumerated the cause of corruption to include indiscipline, poor remuneration, greed and Avarice, dishonesty or lack of integrity, lack of virile welfare structures and weak low enforcement systems. Other causes of corruption, according to him, include lack of genuine fear of God, insensitivity on the part of leadership, poor leadership culture, extensive discretionary powers, distorted societal values or societal pressures. The Commissioner further listed other manifestations of corruption in Universities to include plagiarism, sex for grades or marks, money for grades or marks, academic dishonesty or fraud, falsification of research report, leaking of examination paper for money, abuse of office, undue influences in research, compelling favour from students before graduation, favoritism and nepotism, age cheating. Others, according to him, include gratification and admission racketeering examination practices, offering bribes to Non Academic staff to bypass bureaucratic procedures, University staff especially of the management cadre attending graduation of children in foreign institution (flaunting of corruption and lack of faith in their institution) The ICPC Boss listed measures that could effectively prevent or combat corruption to include; introduction of the teaching of Integrity studies or Transparency Accountability Studies, strengthening of ACTU and SAV, continuous education and sensitization, vigilance and victim support, sexual Harassment policy. Others include Anti-corruption policy spelling out ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for all Academic, Non-Academic and students and supervision of Database of students from Admission to Graduation and reviewing of corruption prone-process which can be self-directed or jointly with the ICPC Corruption Risk Assessment. In her remarks, the Head, Anti -corruption and Transparency Unit, Prof. Louisa Uwatt said the workshop was held to create awareness with the view to ensuring that things are done in accordance with laid down rules and regulations in offices and units. The event was attended by Management staff, Provost, Deans, Heads of Department, Faculty Officers, Academic Advisers, among others Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of memento to Prof. Lulu Uwatt by the ICPC team .

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