The University of Lagos wants authorities of universities across the country to intensify efforts in ensuring effective measures to tackle sexual harassment.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos that the issue of ‘sex for marks’ in the country’s university system remains a hydra-headed monster that must be tackled without further delay.
“Recall that some foremost universities in the country had been in the news in the recent past, over cases of sexual harassment by lecturers,” he said.
“Some of the lecturers involved have , however, been found guilty based on established evidence provided by their victims before probe panels, which eventually led to their outright dismissal.
“The University of Lagos had zero tolerance for the ugly trend and would do all it could to ensure that such standard was not compromised.
“As heads of these universities, I think there is need to step up efforts in ensuring that this unhealthy development is stamped out from the system.
“I think these are some of the issues we should continue to highlight each time we meet as heads of universities. This is because to the best of my knowledge, there is no vice-chancellor in any Nigerian university that will encourage such act.
“Honestly speaking, I do not see any reason for any lecturer to harass students. They ordinarily should be their guardians or mentors.
“In UNILAG, we have a channel through which we get information from these students, who are bold enough to come out and report such. The counselling unit are up to the task in getting them speak and they will transmit same to us. Like I said, what we need is for the students to speak up.”
According to him, he has always condemned the unhealthy development at various fora, stressing the trend is not good for the growth of the system.
“Currently, there are cases that we are looking into in UNILAG and I want to say that we will not compromise standard, as we will ensure that we take appropriate actions on such cases.”
He noted, however, that the students on their part must tread with caution.
The vice chancellor said students, especially the females, must ensure they dress properly at all times.
The professor of Botany cautioned students against indecent dressing to lecture halls and around the campus, saying such could only expose them to danger.
On the outcome of case reported in 2018 by a blogger on an alleged sexual harassment by a Professor in the English Department of the university, Ogundipe said investigation was ongoing.
He said that a high level probe committee made up of senior lecturers of the institution had since been set up and that the only setback was the inability to track and get the victim to show up (NAN)