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FG sets up committee to tackle fake degrees

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By Abraham Adekunle

Education minister launches investigation into unapproved institutions.

In a proactive move to address the rising concerns over the proliferation of unapproved educational institutions and the circulation of fake degree certificates within and outside Nigeria, the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, has officially inaugurated an 11-man inter-ministerial investigative committee. The committee comprises members drawn from various government ministries and agencies, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Youth, Justice, and the Office of the National Security Adviser. The primary objective of this committee is to conduct a thorough review of the roles played by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and their officials in facilitating the recognition and procurement of fake certificates.

The government’s decision to launch this investigation aligns with its commitment to curbing the activities of illegal universities and fake degree-awarding institutions, reflecting the broader efforts to enhance the integrity of the Nigerian education system. The recent suspension of the evaluation and accreditation of degrees from universities in Benin and Togo has added urgency to these efforts. This suspension, as announced by the Federal Ministry of Education, follows an eye-opening investigative report by the Daily Nigerian Newspapers that exposed corruption in the award of degree certificates in Benin Republic and their subsequent evaluation by the Nigerian government.

Ministry of Education urges probe amid degree mills scandal.

Augustina Obilor-Duru, who signed the statement on behalf of the Director of Press and Public Relations of the education ministry, emphasized the need for a comprehensive investigation. The ministry believes that some Nigerians resort to illicit means to obtain degrees, aiming to secure job opportunities for which they are not qualified. The suspension of the evaluation and accreditation process is pending the outcome of the joint investigation involving the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, as well as collaboration with the State Security Service (SSS) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Degree mills, which are institutions that exist on paper or operate clandestinely outside regulatory control, pose a global challenge. The Federal Ministry of Education has consistently grappled with the issue, issuing periodic warnings against patronizing such institutions and reporting cases to security agencies for decisive action. Minister Tahir Mamman has mandated the investigative panel to examine all private universities established in the last 15 years. The committee will assess whether these institutions have the prescribed facilities, appropriate management structures, adequate funding for programs, and the requisite staff.

Inter-Ministerial committee formed for detailed education sector review.

Additionally, the panel is charged with investigating the presence of unapproved foreign institutions or degree mills in Nigeria, seeking to uncover their identities and locations. Beyond these responsibilities, the committee will conduct a thorough examination of current policies and procedures associated with accreditation and certification in Nigeria. The objective is to pinpoint weaknesses contributing to the issue and develop recommendations aimed at fortifying the system of recognition, accreditations, and quality assurance for degrees within the country.

Notably, the inter-ministerial committee comprises key figures in the education sector, including the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Professor Jibril Amin, who specializes in Veterinary Theriogenology. Other members include representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Youth Development, and the Office of the National Security Adviser, as well as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). To ensure the smooth functioning of the committee, the education ministry has designated four individuals to serve as the secretariat.

Related Article: Suspension of degree certs from Benin and Togo

This includes Abubakar Kimba, Director of ICT; Rakiya Ilyasu, Director in charge of universities; Emmanuel Okposin, Deputy Director in the office of the permanent secretary; and John Kwaghe, a technical assistant to the Minister of Education. As the investigation unfolds, the Nigerian government remains committed to addressing the root causes of the proliferation of unapproved institutions and fake degrees. The collaborative efforts of various ministries and agencies, coupled with the expertise of the inter-ministerial committee, are expected to yield comprehensive findings and recommendations that will contribute to the enhancement of the education sectors integrity and credibility in Nigeria.


Related Link

Federal Ministry of Education: Website


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AN-Toni
Editor
1 month ago

FG sets up committee to tackle fake degrees.Education minister launches investigation into unapproved institutions. – Express your point of view.

SarahDiv
Member
1 month ago

Addressing fake degrees and unapproved institutions is crucial for maintaining the integrity of Nigeria’s education system. The government’s initiative with the inter-ministerial committee is a positive step in ensuring the credibility of academic qualifications and upholding educational standards. It reflects a commitment to tackling corruption in the evaluation process and strengthening policies for accreditation. This collaborative effort is essential for safeguarding the value of Nigerian degrees and fostering trust in the education sector.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
1 month ago

That’s a significant step taken by the Federal Government to address the issue of fake degrees and unapproved institutions! It’s crucial to ensure the integrity of our education system and protect the interests of students. By setting up a committee and launching an investigation, the Education Minister is showing a commitment to quality education and preventing fraudulent practices. This initiative will not only safeguard the reputation of our educational institutions but also protect the future of students who deserve genuine and recognized qualifications. Kudos to the government for taking action! 🎓👏

Taiwo
Member
1 month ago

FG forms a committee to address the issue of phony degrees. A minister of education begins looking into unapproved institutions.It is really concerning when people utilize fictitious degrees to obtain employment. We need to address this in politics. It is unacceptable for our political officials to flaunt fictitious documents.

Kazeem1
Member
1 month ago

It is imperative for Nigeria’s education system to address phony degrees and unauthorized institutions. Maintaining academic standards, fighting evaluation corruption, and fortifying accreditation regulations are all priorities for the government’s interministerial council.Our educational institutions’ reputations will be protected by this approach, too.