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Fake Degrees: FG Probes 107 Private Universities



Private Universities

The Federal Government has announced plans to commence the probe of all private universities established in the last 15 years.

This follows an investigative report by Daily Nigerian journalist, Umar Audu, who uncovered certificate racketeering in Benin Republic and Togo.

The Inter-Ministerial Investigative Committee on Degree Certificate Milling set up by the Federal Government would be examining “whether or not private universities established in the last 15 years have in place prescribed facilities, appropriate management structure, adequate funding of programmes, requisite state, and nature of the staff – full-time, contract, adjunct, visiting and other types.”

The committee, in an advertorial noted that the probe was “without prejudice to the periodic accreditation exercise of the National Universities Commission.”

“Memoranda from the general public are, therefore, solicited to provide information to the committee to help it make appropriate recommendations to address the menace in line with its terms of reference,” the committee said.

In December 2023, undercover journalist, Umar Audu obtained a degree within six weeks from Benin Republic and even took part in the mandatory youth service under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in Nigeria.

Reacting to the scandal, the Federal Government announced plans to launch an investigation into private universities established in the last 15 years.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, made this known in Abuja while inaugurating the Inter-Ministerial Committee on fake degrees and activities of degree mills in the country.

The Committee Chairman, Jibrila Amin, noted that the inter-ministerial committee would “Review the role of any MDA or its officials (including identifying such officials) in the facilitation of the recognition and procurement of the fake certificate in question.”

The committee will also”examine the rules, procedures and processes for recognition and accreditation of foreign universities and programmes by the Federal Ministry of Education; Establish if unapproved foreign institutions (Degree Mills) exist or not in Nigeria in whatever form with their identities and locations if any.”

It is expected to “make appropriate recommendations for review of any rules, procedures, and processes to prevent re-occurrence and sanctions for identified erring officials.

“Make other recommendations that will strengthen the system of recognition, accreditations and quality assurance of degrees in Nigeria and examine the extant rules, procedures and processes for granting provisional licenses to new universities by the National Universities Commission.”

It is believed that no fewer than 107 private universities were established in the last 15 years.




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