Academic dons from the Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Thursday, identified policies that aided anti-corruption measures and service delivery at the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Presenting their findings during the Actualizing Behavior Change (ABC) series convened by NISER and Mc Arthur Foundation in Ibadan, the duo of Dr Adebukola Daramola and Dr Oluwatosin Ilevbare, attributed
physical environment restructuring, social environment engineering, incentives, and sanctions, among others to successes recorded in tackling corruption in JAMB.
They noted that though the narrative of how corruption has affected development in Nigeria remains pervasive, there are institutions, which have defied the odds to enthrone probity, transparency and accountability in how they engage in service delivery to the public.
According to their findings, “stakeholders must focus more on these positive stories, and how other institutions grappling with corruption can replicate such promising practices and achieve the desired results in terms of corruption control.”
With specific reference to the transformation, which occurred at JAMB, hitherto mired in corruption and poor service delivery, the third edition of the ABC Series presented NISER’s research findings on what specific policies were implemented by the tertiary institution’s admission body to seriously control corruption and improve service delivery.
Earlier in her opening remarks at the seminar, the Director-General of NISER, Professor Antonia Simbine said: “This seminar is indeed important; it is another NISER/MacArthur Foundation Actualizing Behaviour Change Series. It is our proudly unique platform for knowledge engagement, amongst scholars, policymakers and bureaucrats of the behavioural change approach to corruption control in Nigeria.”
She stated: “As differentiated from what used to happen in the past in which we tried to control corruption by the use of the legal means or sanction, now we are trying to do corruption control by looking at the behaviours of people and trying to understand what can be done to change people’s behaviour.”
On her part, the Deputy Country Director of MacArthur Foundation, Dr Amina Salihu, hinted that the foundation had to engage NISER and other top government policy think tanks because it was looking for the opportunity to facilitate anti-corruption efforts, which would be different from the law and order approach.
“We needed to begin to understand what motivates people and what makes them do what they do and not do what they do not do. This search took us to the need for behavioural insights. That for us is just the choices that make. We ask, what are the philosophical and economic underpinning of people’s choices, “she posited.
JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, who joined the seminar virtually commended NISER for creating the space for reflection by stakeholders on how to reduce corruption and deepen accountability within Nigerian institutions.
On how to sustain the reforms he led to reduce and control corruption in JAMB, Professor Oloyede said the role of technology, enforcement of rules and sacrifice by the leadership of the concerned institution would be critical.
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