By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, (Unical), Prof. Zana Akpagu, has vowed to deal and fire any staff found culpable in the ongoing investigation.
It would be recalled that some staff are under investigation over the alleged involvement in collecting money from the unsuspecting members of the public as well as forging his signature to offer them fake jobs and issuance of certificates.
He stated this at the inauguration of the Students’ wing of the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences (ICPC) code named “Student Anticorruption Vanguard” (SAV).
Akpagu who said that the University authorities have identified some suspects involved in certificate and admission racketeering adding “they are under investigation”.
He decried that “people will come to us and beg for jobs and when we offer them employment base on the genuinity of their appeal, “they go back and collect money. They are collecting money for even admission. Some are even forging my signature to give people “fake jobs” but we have gotten the report and are investigating to send those who entered illegally back to their villages”.
Akpagu assured that his administration is committed to the anti corruption war championed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration,even as he said that the University remains the first in the country to introduce Anti corruption as a course of study.
He maintained that the desire of some Nigerians to do things wrongly as well embezzlement of public funds are the key problems militating against the development of the country.
He charged the new SAV executives to do their best to justify the confidence reposed on them noting that they were carefully selected from among over 40,000 students in the University to work as an eye of the anti corruption agency.
“We are here today as partners and not enemies of the ICPC. Our commitment to the anticorruption war of the present administration is total and we have demonstrated this by becoming the first University in Nigeria to establish Anti corruption Study as a course. We may not have achieved our set goals yet but it’s a right step at the right direction. In Nigeria, it may be new but we want to catch them young by teaching the younger generation the danger of corruption.
The problem of this country is doing things the wrong way and embezzlement of public funds by some privileged individuals. If you travel out of this country and return, you will cry for the country because when you see that money meant for the development of the country ends up in people’s pockets you weep. Some individuals in this country are richer than state. So, for us, the creation of this students wing of the ICPC was a well thought initiatives, he said”.
He explained further that “the month I became VC was when TSA started with many other measures to ensure prudence usage of public funds. We are not trying to claim that we’re sainsts or singing our praises but what we have achieved that people are talking about today were achieved with the same funds or even less than what was available to other administrations. Corruption is bad, it’s going down and we’ll continue to support government for it to be completely eliminatd because that’s the only way that this country can grow”.
Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, represented by the board’s Commissioner in charge of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Sola Shodipo, said that corruption was everywhere including tertiary institutions hence, the need to involve stakeholders in the education sector to combat the menace.
He added that SAV was one of the initiatives of the anticorruption agency intended to directly involve students of tertiary institutions in the fight against corruption in the country.
The ICPC boss commended the VC and his management team for the collaboration and the strides recorded in ensuring that corruption is defeated in the University.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the SAV, Prof. Lulu Uwatt, in her opening remarks lamented that corruption in Nigeria has ” assumed status of being ageless because of the great support given by human insincerity and the unprecedentedness to give corruption a real fight”.
She charged the “ICPC, school management and volunteers to watch each other’s back , have sincerity and unity of purpose and work relentlessly towards sanitizing the University community”.
Elebor Prince Edede, the President of SAV said that “the efforts of the Prof. Zana Akpagu led management and ICPC to curb corruption in this institution cannot be overemphasized. During our training, we were told of the VC’s effort to combat corruption in the University and we thank him for that. For the task at hand, we pledge to do our best to ensure corruption is eliminated on campus”.