Alhaji Abubakar Malami, the Attorney -General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said the Federal Government was worried and deeply concerned about allegations of sexual harassment of students in institutions of learning.
Malami made the statement at the 5th National Conference of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) in Umaru Waziri Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi, on Tuesday.
“Government is worried and deeply concerned about allegations of sexual harassment of students, the monetisation of marks and degrees and absence of due process in the award of contracts by Polytechnic Governing Councils, provosts and other administrator, among other allegations,” he said.
Malami, represented by Dr Muhammad Isah of the Faculty of Law, Bayero University, Kano, urged ASUP to take a leading role in addressing the issues through positive actions and advocacy.
“Addressing these issues will in no doubt retain the relevance of ASUP within the educational sector,” he said.
The minister said the union must also commit itself to support the Federal Government’s fight against corruption in all sectors, including the education institutions.
He expressed the hope that the conference would strongly address the issues in line with its theme over the next three days. Malami urged the participants to make their contributions in an objective and patriotic manner in order to enrich the outcome of the conference.
He assured the union of the government’s readiness to support all initiatives and resolutions arising from the conference designed to improve the educational sector for the sake of future generations.
“The future of our dear country depends on the quality of education we can offer to our children,” he said.
The Rector of Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Mr Muhammad Aliyu, said the academic conference must be accepted as an important and potent platform for the cross- fertilisation of ideas and proffering solutions to problems. “It must also be a means for upgrading the living standards of our people,” he said.
He emphasised the need to see more chief lecturers presenting papers in conferences.
Aliyu implored governments at all levels to improve funding to polytechnics and encourage research in the institutions.
The rector expressed the hope that the outcome of the conference would provide solutions to the challenges of the society.
The theme of the conference is Sustainable Economic Policies and Management through Technological Innovations in periods of Economic Recession.