Peter Okebukola, former Executive Secretary, National University Commission (NUC), on Tuesday said the admission of academically weak students by Nigerian higher institutions was responsible for the trending sex-for-mark menace in the system.
Mr Okebukola, who made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that if universities and other institutions admitted students who were academically sound and had good scores on entry, there would be no room for any lecturer to harass such students.
“If, in the first instance, a student is academically good, what will a lecturer tell her, sex-for-which mark? All those girls who run after those lecturers or can be harassed by lecturers are those who are academically weak.
“Even, if the lecturer does not want to get engaged with them sexually, the girls will offer them their bodies.
“If at the point of admitting our students, we ensure that they have met some respectable score that when you teach them in class they can understand and do well on their own; then the problem would have been addressed,” he said.
The former NUC boss noted that many of the universities in an attempt to make money from different programmes in various satellite campuses, admit “wishy-washy students” who are desperate to pass.
Mr Okebukola, who said that perpetrators of such acts be punished when caught, advised that all the variables that bring such menace to bear should be addressed.
He said Nigerian universities were on the right track in exposing the rot in the system and advised that any person found culpable should be sanctioned.
“Sex-for-mark is trending in every university in the world and it is important for it to be curbed with sanctions by thoroughly investigating the phenomenon and when people are found guilty, deal with them,” he said.
NAN reports that among Nigerian universities that recently had cases of sexual harassment include Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Lagos State University (LASU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Covenant University, Ota, Ogun.