4 TH OCTOBER, 2022



I am pleased to deliver this address on the fourth successive National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector that has been organized during this administration. Incidentally, it is also my last as President.

2. The theme of this year’s summit: “Corruption and the Education Sector” is apt as corruption in any sector effects development.

3. From inception, this administration has consistently made the fight against corruption a cardinal pillar of its comprehensive commitments and agenda to reform the nation.

4. We signed up to the Open Government Partnership and adopted the Open Government Declaration under which we committed to have robust anticorruption policies, mechanisms and practices that ensure transparency in the management of public finances and procurement, and to strengthen the rule of law.

5. We have tried in the last seven years to keep faith with these commitments. I am pleased to have participated in each of the previous summits organized by the current Board of the ICPC under the leadership of Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, targeting different aspects of our administration’s commitment to fight corruption.

6. This year’s summit will mirror how corruption undermines educational policies, investments and create an unfriendly learning environment for our youths.

7. Incessant strikes especially by unions in the tertiary education often imply that government is grossly underfunding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.

8. The 1999 Constitution places a premium on education by placing it on the Concurrent List, thereby laying the responsibilities of budgeting and underwriting qualitative education on both the Federal and State Governments.

9. The total education budget for each year is therefore a reflection of both federal and state budgets and should be viewed with other financial commitments in their totality.

10. The allocation to education in the federal budget should not be considered via allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education and also academic institutions alone, but should include allocation to the Universal Basic Education, transfers to TETFUND and refund from the Education Tax Pool Account to TETFUND etc.

12. I am aware that the aggregate education budget in all the 36 states of the Federation and that of the Federal Government, combined with the internally generated revenues of the educational institutions themselves are also a subject that requires the attention of critics of government funding of education.

13. In line with the National Policy on Education, this administration has been implementing the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme to provide a free balanced meal per day for each child that attends public primary school in order to encourage school enrolment and facilitate accesses to universal basic education.

14. To mitigate the impact of security challenges on our schools, I signed the Safe Schools Declaration ratification document in December 2019. The Federal Ministry of Education followed up and developed the Minimum Standard for Safe Schools document in 2021, all part of the Safe Schools Initiative. The Safe Schools Initiative is an expression of government’s commitment to continue to work towards the protection of students, teachers and the school environments.

15. Government and stakeholders in the educational sector are concerned about the manifestation of various forms of corruption in the education sector. I am aware that students in our universities for example, use different terminologies to describe different forms of corruption they experience on our campuses.

16. There is sorting or cash for marks/grades, sex for marks, sex for grade alterations, examination malpractice, and so on.

17. Sexual harassment has assumed an alarming proportion. Other forms of corruption include pay-roll padding or ghost workers, lecturers taking up full time appointments in more than one academic institution, including private institutions, lecturers writing seminar papers, projects and dissertations for students for a fee, and admission racketeering, to mention only the most glaring corrupt practices.

18. I am happy to note that ICPC is investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment as abuse of power in our educational institutions. I approve and encourage them to continue to do so.

19. Government will continue to fund education within realistically available revenue but stakeholders, including the media should equally advocate for transparency in the amount generated as internally generated revenue by educational institutions and how such funds are expended.

20. Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions.

21. I call on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions. Let me also implore the Unions to work with government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.

22. I believe that the role of government in education is to guarantee access and establish minimum benchmarks for quality education. Due to declining resources, government cannot bear the cost of funding education alone. I task our academics to attract endowments, research and other grants to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education similar to what obtains in other countries.

23. About two weeks ago, I participated in the 77 th United Nations General Assembly, in New York. One of the key events was Transforming Education Summit Leaders Day, titled: Transforming Education to Transform the World:

Learning to Live Together Sustainably.

24. Nigeria joined other countries in committing “to the vision of Education for Sustainable Development and to the objectives of the Greening Education Partnership” and building “education systems that foster ethical and socially responsible global citizens” who actively contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

25. That is a vision which we will continue to aspire and build.

26. I congratulate the sole winner of this year’s Public Service Integrity


27. I also commend the Chairman, ICPC, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Registrar of JAMB, for organizing this summit and bringing together the three arms of Government, MDAs and other stakeholders to deliberate on corruption in the educational sector of Nigeria.

28. I therefore look forward to the outcomes and recommendations of this summit. I am sure that the ICPC and OSGF will bring forward the recommendations for appropriate action.

29. It is my singular honour and privilege to declare this summit open.

Thank you and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.