By Ayodeji Adegboyega
Transparency International says 66 percent of the money Nigerian governments allocate to education is stolen by corrupt officials.
The international organisation stated this in a new report titled: “Corruption in Education Systems in West Africa.”
The group presented the report at its sub-regional meeting on Wednesday in Abuja as part of the policy papers on land corruption and corruption in education systems in West Africa.
The event, which brought together Transparency International chapters from 10 West African countries, was to review progress on the implementation of the policy papers.
According to the report, corruption is commonplace in education systems across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“This affects education access, quality, inclusion and learning outcomes with devastating consequences, not only for national economic growth but also for the life chances of children, their families and communities,” the report said.
The report highlighted “Resource misallocation, corrupt procurement, exchange of sex for grades, examination malpractices, fake qualifications, teacher absenteeism, and corrupt recruitment practices” as the various corruption risks and challenges facing education systems in all the countries.
To resolve the issues of violations of fundamental human right through corrupt practices in the education sector, TI made some recommendations.
It said the anti-corruption legal and regulatory instruments that have already been adopted by the community and at the national level need to be enforced.
“This should include more proactive enforcement of CCJ (Criminal Court of Justice) judgments at the national level and strengthening of political will in support of the CCJ.”
On the misallocation of public funds, TI said it will support member states to invest in improving finance and accounts systems to strengthen management and audit to improve accountability at national and district levels.
The group recommended new innovations to address teachers’ recruitment.
It said it will lobby member states to conduct integrity assessments as well as public expenditure tracking surveys in the field of education.
It said it will also support member states to produce transparent public education data.