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FG inaugurates inter-ministerial committee to probe alleged degree racketeering

FG inaugurates inter-ministerial committee to probe alleged degree racketeering

The Federal Government has inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee to examine the veracity of allegations of degrees racketeering within foreign and local private universities in Nigeria.

Inaugurating the committee in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, mandated the committee to review the role of any MDAs or its officials in facilitating the recognition and procurement of fake certificates in question.

The committee is Chaired by the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), Prof. Jibrila Amin.

Other members of the committee are Chris Maiyaki , Acting Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Amb. Lazarus Ikpasaba from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr Abel Olanrewaju from the Office of the National Security Adviser

Others are Omeh Nwokpoku from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Amina Lugga from the Federal Ministry of Youths, and Mrs Doom Iyortyom from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The committee had, however been mandated to complete the investigation within eight weeks from the date of inauguration.

In December 2023, an investigative journalist with the Daily Nigerian Newspaper released a publication on fake degree certificates from Benin Republic and Togo.

The publication is titled “UNDERCOVER: How DAILY NIGERIAN reporter bagged Cotonou varsity degree in six weeks, participated in NYSC scheme”.

This report had since generated public interest and had also lend credence to suspicions that some Nigerians deploy nefarious means and questionable methods to get degrees.

This is with the end objective of getting graduate job opportunities for which they are not qualified.

The minister, while reading the terms of reference, urged the committee to review existing policies and procedures related to accreditation and certification to identify weaknesses contributing to the issue.

”The committee must also examine the rules, procedures and processes for recognition and accreditation of foreign universities and programmes by the Federal Ministry of Education.”

It will also “establish if unapproved foreign institutions (Degree Mills) exist or not in Nigeria in whatever form, with their identities and locations if any.”

The committee will “make appropriate recommendations for review of any rules, procedures, processes to prevent re-occurrence and sanctions for identified erring officials”.

It will further “Make other recommendations that will strengthen the system of recognitions, accreditations and quality assurance of degrees in Nigeria

According to the terms, the members should examine the extant rules, procedures and processes for granting of provisional licences to new universities by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Mamman, therefore, charged the committee to be deliberate about their assignment and deliver within the period.

On behalf of the committee, the Chairman, Prof. Jibrila Amin, assured the Federal Government and

Nigerians of a good job within the stipulated time. 

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