By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The President Muhammadu Buhari has said any lecturer or staff of any tertiary institutions found demanding for Sex for marks from students would not be spared but face the stiffest punishment under the law.
Buhari condemned the unwelcome attention being attracted to Nigerian Universities by the recent sex-for-grades
The President who was represented by Deputy Director, National Universities Commission(NUC), Suleiman Yusuf stated this at the University of Ilorin 35th Convocation Ceremony on Wednesday.
He said, “Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, let me seize this opportunity of this address to once again condemn unwelcome attention being attracted to our Universities by the trending sex-for-grades.
“Definitely, our Universities can Not do without the negative and scandalous attention being paid to them and our dear nation in the wake of treading sex- for- grades and sexual harassment, which has assumed a global dimension.
“It’s most reprehensible that while some of our illustrious staff are making concerted to improve the continental and global ranking of Nigeria Universities and indeed some of our Universities are already beginning to make more showing on continental and global league and ranking tables such efforts are now being overshadowed by negative reputation of immorality and shame being brought up our citadel of higher learning by irresponsibility and indiscipline of a few misguided academics.
“For the avoidance of doubt, my administration abhors any form of indiscipline and misdemeanor. Accordingly,I have directed appropriate government agencies to take decisive and firm actions against any lecturer or staff found culpable in any act of sexual harassment in our education and other institutions.
“It is most disheartening that people who are expected to train guide and groom students in loco parentis turn around to breach the trust and confidence in them by exploiting the students in their care and under their tutelage.
“Henceforth all culprits shall face the full wrath of law as they will be prosecuted and those found guilty will serve the stiffest punishment under the law,” he emphasized.
He urged the Universities administrators in particular and all categories of staff to spare no effort in ensuring that our higher institutions live up to expectations of training and developing graduates who are truth and indeed worthy in character and leaning.
Earlier in his address, Chairman of the governing Council, Dr Abdullah Oyekan informed the President that University of Ilorin did not turn blind eye to all reported cases made in the institution involving staff assuring him of zero tolerance of gross misconduct on his part.
He said the Council has however observed the critical need for an increase in funding of tertiary education in the country particularly in University of Ilorin where the academic calendar has been consistently stable in the past twenty years, for this reason he said the University should be first to be considered for any Federal government special intervention.
“Mr President Sir, we are not turning our backs or blind eye to the scandalous phenomenon of ‘sex for grades’ in Nigeria universities that is making waves in all the media currently.All reported cases made to the University involving staff are already being investigated.You can rest assured, Mr President, Sir,that your government’s policy of Zero tolerance of gross misconduct will be faithfully carried out to the latter in this regard.
“In the course of its duty,Council has however observed the critical need for an increase in funding of tertiary education in the country particularly in the University of Ilorin where the academic calendar has been consistently stable in the past twenty years, for this reason this University should be the first to be considered for any Federal government special intervention” he said
Similarly the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Sulyman Abdulkareen enjoined the graduands not to join bandwagon of those that exonerate themselves in the task of fixing the ills that plague Nigeria adding that the responsibility of advancing the progress and development of Nigeria is a collective enterprise.
He noted that they have a key role to play in advancing the cause of Nigeria because each of them is a major stakeholder.
According to him, “it has been stressed in different quarters that the era of white collar jobs is over. In an era where job opportunities are shrinking by the day and competition is becoming keener, entrepreneurship is the new order not only in Nigeria, but all over the world.
“Therefore, I want to admonish you to chart a new course that will make you relevant and productive in the scheme of things. Based on the foregoing, you are to be employers of labour and creators of wealth. You need not be pessimistic but hopeful because Nigeria is a country that is gifted with human and natural resources. Opportunities abound in the country and it is your duty to harness, explore and exploit them,” he said.
The VC said entrepreneurs that are celebrated today were once in their mould, adding that they made use of the existing opportunities in the country, he said they were resilient and unwavering in their drive and quest to succeed and that informed their success story.
“You too can make a success story. “It’s your place in the world, it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live, ”he said.