#Art: Winning Essays Of Stellamaris Foundation Essay Competition 2020 | CABLE REPORTERS



The best gift you can give a child is the right to a good education hence, it is pertinent that the educational sector be given proper attention. Sadly ,though, this sector has been polluted with a whole lot of corrupt practices, one of which is illicit financial flows and if made the governor of Enugu state I will take a stand against it. On a broad note, illicit financial flows are illegal  earning ,transfer or usage of funds. Narrowing it down to the education sector, it is the illegal movement of funds meant for educational purposes. 
This topic is necessary because according to statistics, over thirteen million Nigerian children(which Enugu state is part of)within the school going age are not in school. Also, statistically, Nigeria (Enugu State inclusive)has lost between fifteen-Eighteen billion dollars to illicit financial flows. This corrupt practices happen on a daily basis both in the formal and informal education sectors through various means that will soon be itemized. There are many examples of illicit financial flows in the educational sector, however, due to want of space a few w ill be discussed. It is necessary to know the examples because only a man who recognizes smoke that can fight fire.

First, Price inflation is a means of exploiting pupils and students in school. Usually, in our education sector, we see the price of items increased, budgets are inflated and the surplus goes to a few individuals. For example, we see an increase in prices for external examination, school levies, vocational fees for those under informal education.

Secondly, demanding for payment for already paid services and utilities which have been paid for already. Most times, governments provide amenities like boards,chairs,books etc. but young people are still asked to pay for them and the money goes to few pockets. Just recently, students in a tertiary institution were asked to pay for ‘development fee’ within the range of fifty to three thousand depending on the course but most of the items stated to be bought have been provided already by the government. Again, another example of illicit financial flow in our educational sector is the diversion of funds to frivolous projects. Recently, the Federal Government stated that the whooping sum of six hundred million naira will be used for school children’s daily feeding. Meanwhile, these are children in their various homes, funny enough I am yet to see anyone who has benefitted from this project. Irrelevant projects brought up and most times are left uncompleted. There are many effects of these corrupt practices in our educational sector. I must state that the poor pay the price of corruption. It is the  poor masses out there, down the baseline that suffers most of the effects. First is that, it leads to wealth disappearance. Money meant to be used for the betterment of young people within the educational sector is siphoned. Enugu state and by extension, Nigeria is blessed but little wonder why there is never an enough of anything, this is as a result of illicit flows of finance in sectors like Education .Another effect is reduction in resources. 

The first resources to be negatively affected is human resources as young people will not be properly equipped. Today, we see secondary and tertiary graduates not being able to solve an elementary arithmetic or use the knowledge. it is assumed they have acquired to solve daily problems. In the long run, the labor sector is also affected by this depletion of human resources. This also affects our economy as a whole. Also ,the transfer of illicit financial characters to the upcoming generation is a time bomb ticking. The fact is young people of all ages learn by observation and part of the people they look at are those involved in the corrupt practices. Most times, unknowingly, the characters are transferred leading to a recycle, oh! What a shame! It becomes the proverbial story of a calf who learns to chews its cud by observing the mother cow.
Now, the big question is this: How will I curb this menace in our educational sector if I am governor of Enugu state. I will curb this through the following ways;

I will ensure that I set up strong institutions that will serve as watch dog son the educational sectors. Without such institutions, impunity becomes the very foundation upon which systems of corruption are built. These institutions must be made up of transparent people who understand the system and are ready to ensure proper screening. Strong institutions without capable, competent, trustworthy hand is simply useless because with time, the individuals will make it very weak hence, only credible people will be in the institutions.

Quarterly remuneration to the teachers: The teacher is the heart of the educational sector. Everyone who remembers his education most often remembers the teachers first before other things. Despite the fact that some teachers are greedy, majority if paid well and at the right time will not easily succumb to the temptation of moving finances illegally.

I will ensure a reduction in cash transactions to the lowest point. This is because it is much easier to loot cash. Every transaction will be done in the bank and the tellers submitted to the authorities, I will be a signatory to the account so as to control the flow of finance in and out of the account. Nobody will be permitted to receive cash; all amount of money must be banked.

I will ensure Periodic vetting of documents. An Audit board will be set up to which educational institutions will submit periodic records of their income and expenses. These records can be submitted monthly, quarterly or year  as determined by the board .Educational institutions in right standing will be properly rewarded so as to motivate others to do well. This Audit board will also be responsible for signing out approvals for every amount that will be released.
Legislature and law enactment will be ensured .Laws guiding financial flows in educational sectors will be enacted and due punishment meted on offenders. This will serve as determent to others who may be tempted to engage in corrupt financial acts in the educational sector.

I will create an avenue to receive complaints, feedbacks from parents and young people. This will enable the masses to have a direct access to the government thus complaining about any issue. There will be toll free help lines.
In conclusion,  Education is the most powerful weapon needed to change the world.He who opens a school door opens a prison door hence if I am given an opportunity to be the Governor of our dear state. I will ensure illicit financial flows in our educational sector are fought to the very last point.


It is glaringly clear that education is the bedrock of any nation’s development, economies like America and China are testimonials to this, and as such should be prioritized. The Nation Policy on Education (2004) recognizes education as an instrument per excellence for development: state and nation. Education to Nelson Mandela is a weapon with which to change the world [1]. There is an existing threat, illicit financial flows, that subdues the progress of the education sector of the city of coal state into the doldrums of stagnation.
Illicit financial flow is a growing obstacle to the standardization and progress of education sector thereby creating a hard nut of achievable sustainable development stemming also from the sector of economy. For clarification illicit financial flows refers to the movement of money across borders that is illegal in its source (e.g. corruption, smuggling), its transfer (e.g. tax evasion), or its use(e.g. terrorist financing) [2]. It is clear that the illegitimate capital flight is based on illegal transfer, utilization, and source of money, which is underlined, by criminal activities and practices. Evidently, corruption is the grass-root of illegal financial flow in the education system.

Vivian Kaosichukwu

Several attempts to uncover the real estimation of the illicit financial flow in the nation have not been truly underscored because of the sophisticated practices and activities that capitalize the illicit financial flow. Researches founded that from 1970-2004 Nigeria with 165,697[3] was at the top of the countries with increasing capital flight. Critical estimation shows that the country loses N2.645 trillion [4] annually which is development jeopardizing as there is little left for economy development. The states illicit financial flow estimation can be deduced from the national sum estimation as the trails from state make up the country’s. The whooping loss of finance only robs the economy of available scarce resources for critical investment for development.

Rippling effects of illicit financial out flows in the education system of the state include widened deficit [5], lack of funds, reduced resources and revenues needed to fund initiatives, projects, programs and critical investments. This can be likened to an individual who is stripped bare by close relatives and friends and left with nothing for protection in the harsh conditions of cold and sunshine. An individual like this is prone to die. It is only the officials in the system that orchestrates this harm, a bitter cola it is, because the opportune makes away with available public resources for private and probably  posterity utilization. This is the state the education sector of our dear state has been subjected to dead end with no little or no trail of  light by the selfish and corruption ridden minds of staff and personnel that work within it. 

These grave effects posed by the illegitimate mobility of money results to tragedies of inadequacies in the system that strip the sustainable development bare and characterizes the sector with substandard infrastructural facilities, unfinished projects, redundancy and deterioration in knowledge, lack of expansion, insufficient learning materials and equipment among others. The state is enveloped by darkness of underdevelopment as the candle of improved education sector to light its path is put off.
More so, illicit financial flows reduce foreign exchanges, sources of government revenue and affects prices in the state. Elites in the state who are mostly in favor of the illegal finance mobility as such acts are perpetrated by exposed calibers of personalities, would always want the best for their children or wards by giving them quality education outside the country thereby indirectly decreasing foreign exchange of the state as well as widening the inequality gap and extending the vicious rope of poverty which militate against the first proposed goal for sustainable development. As a result of illegitimate capital flow, the government is incapacitated in meeting public expenditures because its source of recurrent and capital revenue generation has been weakened through manipulated ways of milking the system and state in general.

Going further, if I were put in the lead of the state, in order to tackle and contain this problem against the economy the truth and reality inciting such acts must be uncovered, for according to Max De Pree “the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality” . For everything that happens has a cause behind it. The increasing insistent rate of illicit financial flows stems from the deep-rooted corruption. The emboldened factors that causes capital flight include underpayment of workers, unmonitored projects, unstrengthen tax teams, tax evasions mostly rampant in private schools, fiscal policy opaqueness, recklessness on the part of bursary departments among others fan the flame of illegal finance mobility.

Change is a constant factor. To ensure remedied harms from illicit money flow, change must be effected in the sector, through structural readjustment of programs. As the leader, multiple approaches that involve laws, mandates and administrative strategies will be effectuated and implemented. This is executed in form of improved payment system in the education sector. Teachers are only individuals that reach the heart of students to meet their heart needs, by the virtue of this task, they should be served with worthy items they deserve. The Igbo maxim ‘one who works eats', buttresses this point. Tutors will not work the share of elephant and eat the share of a rat. This would go a long way to militated against hunger to accept and extort money from any available means.

Furthermore, strengthened projects surveillance teams and formidable tax taskforce will be established with due gubernatorial backup. This is to ensure effective completion of tasks assigned for standardization of the system. Frequently checkmating a project process by an authorized body will enhance maximum result, therefore surveillance team for all projects will reduce, if  not totally terminate the channels used to propagate flows of project finance. Again, tax taskforce that will ensure strict adherence to tax policies and payment education establishment to avoid its evasion. The existence of taskforce that exerts its function without fear or favor will make for compliance with payment as at when due which invariably increases the internal source of government revenue for public spending. 
Also, the wanton importation of educational materials should be discouraged and bursaries will report to the heads of their organization, perhaps bi- weekly; monthly to ensure accountable transparency of finance flows. Enhanced internally purchase of domestic educational materials accelerates means of government revenue. Creating strong relationship with the various heads of education establishments will help relate issues concerning them for proper solution provision. This bonded friendship will enhance all accountability and transparency which are hallmarks for prosperity. This invariably creates room for well rooted and stemmed growth for sustainable development achievement.

In sum, like the Igbo maxim that says the best way to solve a menacing problem is to trace the source through which flood penetrated the tip of the root, it is paramount to unravel the factors that militate against the progress of the economy through thorough scrutiny of its sectors and effect the needed change. The education sector is the bedrock of the state’s progress, therefore considerable portion of attention must be given it to ensure that, according to Kevin Rudd, it drives the economic development and proffers social justice [8].Standard infrastructural facilities and adequate educational materials fosters effective learning, which accelerates the development of human capital as well as increasing the literacy rate of the state. 

[6]  UNDP: Sustainable Development Goals. E-book. Accessed on July 1,2020
[7]  Max DePree: Leadership is an Art, current.2004. Accessed on July 10,2020


"A man's action deficit his passion". I remember this phrase vividly as I usually would observe Mr. Charles, a potbellied arrogant man who lived across the street. Many called him "oriokwo", as He was believed to be a lecturer who earns way more than his salary through illegal means, and he never fails to admit that. he would fondly insult those supposedly lower in class. “Poor man! shine your eyes", Mr. Charles shouted as he referred to Mr .Michael whom he nearly ran over with his car. Recently Mr. Michael told me that the reason he is poor was by choice. Saying that during his glory days, a proposal was made in his office, telling him to indulge in fraudulent acts at the expense of children's education and equipment. Refusing to indulge, he was ostracized from the educational system which led him to resigning.

 As I would drop by my Michael’s house, he would always "bless me" with encouraging words, that one day I will be a leader and I will liberate the corrupt systems.
It is now the greatest irony that the richest employers in Nigeria are the most vitiate by its political leaders, most belittled by its educational leaders and most acquiesces by its civil leader.  I hope to be a governor with a difference. To improve the educational standards in my developing country, I have to rescue the educational industry. It is a huge problem that the sector which for more than a decade has provided employment for up to 46% of worlds 7.8 billion citizens, the sector that is obligatory to educate the continent, and the sector that has innovated and grew in the worst of economic environments to bring about a solution to the problem of poverty faced by the world with little or no environment and little care or no support form the government is being termed as "corrupt".

                            Eze Nnenna

For over a decade, Educational sectors have contributed to national revenue in the form of taxes and provide intellects and skills that we require for survival and poverty alleviation. A Good governorship is synonymous with improved welfare in various sectors in the society. In order to achieve sustainable development goals (SDG 4 and 9), quality education and infrastructure, Governors and leaders should find solutions to eradicating illicit financial flow in our education sector.

As the governor of Enugu state,  the first thing I would do is to gain more understanding as to the real problem behind the unlawful financial flow, as well as find ways of addressing it. My focus would be in the developing communities where low incomes are supposedly earned and needed resources to fund equipment are scarce. Like Mr. John, many teachers, especially those in low-income areas, result in money laundering because they receive fewer payments. 

A great lesson from the world health organization (WHO) is the addressing of illegal flows from one country to the other, (WHO) was said to have there full of the reduction in revenues as a result of the illegal outflow of money meant for the educational sectors. I shall borrow that as a governor, address such issues in my community and find ways to deter the problem so as to " shut off the tap" to ensure adequate revenues for the communities.

Last year, at the matriculation hall on my matriculation day, the speaker was honest enough to tell us that the school lacked crucial equipment. she urged us to make do with the given equipment so that when done with studies we would fight the ignored looming in the educational sector  I was mad and confused about this. What could be the unforeseen corruption looming and hindering our young leaders? What can I do to make it right? With this in mind, I discovered a problem and decided to put that on my list. I would eliminate Anonymous workers in the educational sector, otherwise called the "ghost workers".
Ghost workers are non-existent employees usually used as a medium to launder money. Thus, the money or resources that were meant for the public's well-being are illegally transferred to private pockets. For example; the ministry of finance uncovered 23,000 ghost workers in the educational sector in the year 2016. According to her, the fraudulent act was exposed through bank verification number (BVN)and integrated personal payroll information system by the ghost workers. This exposure has helped save a sum of 5 billion worth of funds from the sector's economy. Therefore, I would enforce the practicality of this. Educational sectors should be reverted to the beauty of the good days.

Enugu state is known as one of the corrupt states in Nigeria. I leave and study in a state where laws are not taken seriously and the educational sectors are not left out in such unlawful acts. As a governor, I would strengthen anti-money laundering laws and practices. So much has been said about enforcing such practices but very little effort has been put to achieving such aim to promote educational living or create policies to ensure that the sector that employs 45% of the globe is met with a clean slate. Instead, the state governments more often than not, turn a blind eye to the unlawful act such as money laundering. Lagos state has developed am "iron fist" as fat as money laundering is concerned, thus, putting Enugu state at a receiving end. Therefore, the unwavering commitment to enforcing and straightening of Anti-money laundry practices can guarantee Enugu states' illegal financial flow liberation.

Finally, I would encourage good governance and transparency. A lot of corruption results as a means of mismanagement, ignorance, and lack of transparency among the government and various sectors. Unfortunately, the age-long scandals in my state a government leader. I intend to bring a different approach to the governorship. With a mode of transparency. The late South African president and activist Nelson Mandela stated " leadership without transparency" as one of his list of the ways to failing a leadership role. As a governor of Enugu state, I would list transparency among all else in other to eradicate illegal financial flows and in other to pull the educational industry from the shackles of corruption.
With the following mentioned, I believe my governorship ideas and strategies to eradicate illicit financial flow in Enugu state will be corroborated, and increase the educational system for a long time.

• According to Nelson Mandela(1998), leadership without transparency is one of the ways to  failing a leadership role (Nelson Mandela, 1998)
• Monica Kirya(2019). Education sector corruption: How to assess it and ways to address it  retrieved from. https://www.u4.no/publications/education-sector-corruption-how-to- assess-it-and-ways-to-address-it
•ChuksOluigbo, Joshua Bassey(2016, February 16). Government helpless as ghost worker  syndrome drains resources. Retrieved from.      https://businessday.ng/news- features/article/government-helpless-as-ghost-worker-syndrome-drains-resources/
•ministry of foreign affairs(2019). Combating illicit financial flows worldwide. Retrieved.          https://www.giz.de/en/worldwide/39748.html


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