Sanction Nigerian institutions running unaccredited courses, NANS tells FG

As the Federal Ministry of Education on Tuesday announced the suspension of evaluation and accreditation of degree certificates from the Republic of Benin and Togo, the National Association of Nigerian Students has requested that similar measures be taken against home-based institutions running unaccredited courses.

The PUNCH reports that the ministry had blacklisted about 18 of those learning institutions following the undercover investigation conducted by a Nigerian newspaper which exposed the activities of a degree mill in Cotonou, a major city of Benin Republic.

According to the investigation, the undercover reporter bagged a degree from a Cotonou university within six weeks and also participated in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps scheme.

In a statement signed by its National Senate President, Elvis Ekundina, on Wednesday, NANS commended the Federal Government over the suspension of the evaluation and accreditation of degree certificates obtained from institutions in Benin Republic and Togo.

However, the students body called on the government “to extend its sanction to tertiary institutions operating in Nigeria who are offering courses without accreditation from relevant authorities.”

NANS described as outrageous, the utilisation of deceptive methods by some Nigerians to acquire degrees from Benin Republic and Togo, aimed at securing job opportunities for which they lack qualifications.

The association charged the Federal Government “to commence investigation into the activities of the Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other agencies fingered in the fraudulent activities of obtaining degree certificates from foreign universities.“

The statement read, “While we commend the Federal Government for its quick decision to suspend the accreditation of degree certificates obtained from institutions in Benin Republic and Togo, it is, however, important for the government to take further steps into investigating the activities of relevant agencies fingered in the fraudulent activities.

“This is the only way the Federal government can save its face and restore the battered image of the country.

“We also want to use this opportunity to call on the government to beam its searchlight into the activities of tertiary institutions, especially privately owned ones, that are running unaccredited courses.

“These institutions, in their fraudulent act, are destroying our education sector and swindling innocent young Nigerians of their money by offering them unaccredited courses.

“NANS describes these universities and polytechnics offering unaccredited courses as illegal institutions as we want the government to deal with them appropriately.”

Ekundina called on the Federal Government to collaborate with NANS and other student bodies to rid the country of illegal tertiary learning institutions towards repositioning the nation’s education sector.

A recent investigation by PUNCH Newspapers revealed how a polytechnic in Abeokuta, Ogun State is running Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, and other courses that are exclusively offered by universities. 

The polytechnic, Named Havarde College of Science, Business and Management Studies, admitted students to study Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, and others.

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