FG Investigates 107 Universities for Alleged Fake Degrees

Fake Degrees
Fake Degrees

The Federal Government is seeking memoranda from the public as it commences the investigation of private universities established in the last 15 years. The Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, announced this in Abuja while inaugurating the Inter-Ministerial Committee on fake degrees and activities of degree mills in the country.

The Federal Government's probe was initiated in response to an investigative report by Daily Nigerian journalist, Umar Audu, which uncovered certificate racketeering in neighboring Benin Republic and Togo.

Reports indicate that in the last 15 years, no fewer than 107 private universities were established.

The Inter-Ministerial Investigative Committee on Degree Certificate Milling, established by the Federal Government, will be assessing if private universities founded in the past 15 years have the required facilities, management structure, funding, staff composition, and other necessary elements.

The committee observed that the inquiry did not impact the National Universities Commission's periodic accreditation exercise.

“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.

Daily Nigerian journalist Audu, in his investigative report published late last year, shared the story of how he managed to get a degree within six weeks from Benin Republic and then proceeded to participate in the mandatory youth service under the National Youth Service Corps scheme in the country.

Reacting to the situation, the Federal Government declared on January 9, 2024, that it would commence an investigation into private universities established in the last 15 years.

The Committee Chairman, Jibrila Amin, highlighted that the inter-ministerial committee is tasked with Reviewing 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.

Examining the rules, procedures, and processes for recognition and accreditation of foreign universities and programs by the Federal Ministry of Education is also part of the committee's tasks; They will investigate the existence of unapproved foreign institutions (Degree Mills) in Nigeria and identify their locations if found.

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