Weak institutions aiding stealing of public fund – Don

Prof. Suleiman Aruwa, Council member, Nasarawa State University tells CHUKS OYEMA-AZIKEN that lack of synergy among anti-corruption agencies has affected their effectiveness and overall objective of government.

With alarming rise in cases of mismanagement and outright stealing of public fund, Nigerians are bothered that the goal of the government in delivering on its mandate may not be achieved.

Prof. Aruwa laments that Nigeria has a problem of weak institution, “the issues about Nigeria has to do with issues of nation-building, value orientation and public Governance. Basic government control institutions have collapsed. Governance framework collapsed, financial control and structure collapsed too.

He said that the problem of weak institutions has affected the fight against corruption.

“We should build institutions that makes it impossible for people to steal. Build institutions with preventive measures to curb stealing. ICPC and EFCC are waiting for those who steal to prosecute and recover loot from them.

“The people waiting to steal are more than those stealing. So everyone is waiting for opportunity to steal. Value orientation is at lowest ebb. We don’t see anything wrong with stealing in Nigeria. Thieves are being celebrated.

The former Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Nasarawa State University said the level of corruption has ensured low rating in terms of financial accountability and transparency.

“We spend N10trillion, but don’t see it on the ground, while poverty, unemployment, decayed infrastructure is high.
He said EFCC has done well within it’s capabilities and need to be protected.

“It is an institution and can’t be separated from Nigerian attitude, they can’t be separated from malpractices. However they are only waiting for thieves.

He commends the government for the anti-corruption campaign.

“This government like no other has created more awareness on corruption. That they are investigating EFCC should be commended.

He said the National Anti-corruption Strategy of 2017 with 5 cardinal points on how to fight corruption is laudable, but has not been well implemented.

“But their is no holistic implementation of the strategy. That is why there is no synergy in the anti-corruption war.
There must be a coordinating agency to share information. The agencies are just working to outshine each other. Buhari will leave a legacy of bringing a strategy buy didn’t implement it fully.

On the protracted crisis between the Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), he said that both ASUU and government has failed Nigerians.

“It is not good that government enter into agreements and fail to meet up. ASUU should also be reasonable and be interested in the quality of learning and teaching. Though they fought alot to improve structure and funding. They shouldn’t oppose the technological advancement in the ivory tower, we should be supportive in bringing innovation’s and forget about other soft issues.

“The state of our universities is a function of national leadership. We are expected to be different in character in terms of learning. Nigerians are being appointed Vice-chancellors abroad, but here the indigene factor is a consideration. We need quality people to man our universities. We need to advance knowledge, conduct research and be visible internationally to be respected.

“Salary is poor, access to funding research is poor. Research funding is available, just that process of accessing them is rigid. People want to see visible advantages of projects.”

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