Ezekwesili Gives Exam Fraudsters' List to EFCC

Ezekwesili Gives Exam Fraudsters' List to EFCC

Postby Richard Akindele » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:45 am

Minister for Education, Dr Obiageli Ezekwe-sili, yesterday said her ministry has submitted a list of registered candidates, invigilators, as well as supervisors accused of involvement in examination malpractice and other related offences to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commi-ssion (EFCC), for prosecution.

Ezekwesili said this when EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, visited her in her office, and described examination malpractice as "a bile activity and a negative behaviour that was contemptuous of hard work and serious effort. Only sanction and reward could take the nation's education back to its place of pride."

She expressed appreciation to Ribadu for setting up a division within the EFCC and appointing a proper director to oversee prosecution of examination cheats, adding that the first list of offenders was sent to the Commission "about three weeks ago, and EFCC officers have been in contact with the Ministry."

Ezekwesili also commended the Commission for its readiness to enter into a partnership with the Education Ministry to fight examination malpractice, to send a clear signal to offenders that the era when people got away with wrong doings was over.

"The first group of people behaved badly and there was no cost; rather they were rewarded and other groups decided that if they got the benefit of their bad behaviour, why not us, and before you knew it, what started as a micro problem has become a macro problem for the sector", she lamented.

In his response, informed the Minister that the EFCC had set up a special unit that was going to be dedicated purposely to the enforcement of the miscellaneous offences with special emphasis on the education sector.

"I can give you the assurance that we are ready and we are extremely serious - not just examination malpractices, but everything to do with the education sector, university administration, the conduct and behaviour of teachers and lecturers and indeed students themselves," he stated.

"My visit here is to show support for what you are doing. Education for us is key to everything without proper foundation for education, things would not move forward. I am here because I believe the education sector in Nigeria today is getting a new lease of live, a new hope.

I'm here today because of your track record of what you have done in other sectors. Today, what whatever you are doing in education sector deserves the support of all and I am here to make the EFCC and myself available.

"I've told you earlier that the law itself gives us power. The Miscellaneous offences is the law directly responsible for the education sector in Nigeria particularly when it has to do with examination malpractice and mismanagement in the universities and other tertiary institutions in the country. We have not been applying it well maybe because people are not aware that it exists. We looked at it critically and we felt it has to be done and we think with you there it will be done.

We have set up a special unit within the EFCC, a unit that is going to be dedicated purposely to the purpose of enforcement of the miscellaneous offence with special emphasis on the education sector. Even though the law has been sent to the National Assembly for amendment, event he existing one is enough to make a difference. I can give you the assurance that we are ready and we are extremely serious not just examination malpractices but everything to do with the education sector, university administration, the conduct and behaviour of teachers and lecturers and indeed students themselves. We need to do something about it, bad behaviour if it goes unpunished will continue and later will take over the normal thing. We have seen the level it has reduced our country to.

"Education in Nigeria use to be pride of all, the certificate in Nigeria use to be recognized anywhere in the world but today that is not the case and we do not deserve. If you see the people living this sector moving out of the country then you can really understand what is happening, it is a shame but we are happy that things can be done and it can change. "Already, what I have seen you can change this place and it shows that if we have serious people whatever the problem it would be solved what is needed and required is for us to come together especially those that have a stake in this and work together and make a change. Madam Minister we are ready to work with you and to change things around even within the short period of time you have to work. If you change this sector you are making a permanent change in the future and you are guaranteeing our future more than anything else, so count us in, in this your effort to reform and we will stand by you", he said.

This Day.
Richard Akindele
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