Dr. Musa Aliyu (SAN), Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has expressed deep concern over the escalating prevalence of sexual harassment not only in tertiary institutions but also in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria.

Speaking at a national stakeholders engagement on sexual harassment prevention in Abuja, Aliyu highlighted the urgent need to address this societal menace.

The event, organized by ICPC in collaboration with the Gender Mobile Initiative, aimed to ensure effective implementation of anti-sexual harassment policies, particularly in educational institutions.

Aliyu emphasized that sexual harassment, alongside gender discrimination, tarnishes Nigeria’s reputation and must be met with severe consequences for offenders.

He stressed that anyone, regardless of status or gender, could be a victim or perpetrator of sexual harassment, underscoring the need for a united effort to combat this issue comprehensively.

“Although sexual harassment is more commonly associated with tertiary institutions, it is alarmingly prevalent in primary and secondary schools as well,” Aliyu remarked.

He pointed out the discrepancy between Nigeria’s numerous laws and policies and their often inadequate implementation, emphasizing the crucial role of stakeholders in ensuring the success of prevention initiatives.

Referring to ICPC’s past efforts supported by the Ford Foundation to combat corruption, including sexual harassment, Aliyu highlighted the development of model anti-sexual harassment policies for educational institutions.

He acknowledged the collaboration with the Gender Mobile Initiative in drafting these policies, which have been approved by the Federal Ministry of Education for adoption at various educational levels.

In her address, Minister of Women Affairs Mrs. Uju Kennedy underscored ongoing efforts to tackle sexual harassment, including the establishment of mobile courts for swift prosecution of perpetrators.

She emphasized the broader societal impact of sexual harassment and urged heightened vigilance and action from all stakeholders.

Omowumi Ogunrotimi, Founder and Executive Director of Gender Mobile Initiative, emphasized the importance of preventive measures and community engagement in addressing sexual harassment.

She stressed the need for policy implementation beyond mere adoption, ensuring meaningful impact at all levels of society.

The engagement drew participation from over 25 Commissioners of Education from across Nigeria, signaling a unified approach towards safeguarding educational environments from sexual harassment and promoting equity and dignity for all students.