The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Education on Tuesday announced the suspension of accreditation of degree certificates from Benin Republic and Togo.
According to a statement on Tuesday signed by Augustina Obilor-Duru on behalf of the Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, the government lamented that “some Nigerians deploy nefarious means and unconscionable methods to get a Degree with the end objective of getting graduate job opportunities for which they are not qualified.”
It followed an investigative report by Daily Nigerian Newspaper titled “How Daily Nigerian reporter bagged Cotonou varsity degree in 6 weeks”.
According to the government, the suspension persists pending the outcome of an investigation involving the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education of Nigeria and the two countries as well as the Department of State Security Services and the National Youths Service Corps.
The statement reads, “ The Federal Ministry of Education vehemently decries such acts and with effect from 2nd January 2024 is suspending evaluation and accreditation of degree certificates from Benin and Togo Republics pending the outcome of an investigation that would involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and the two countries, the ministries responsible for Education in the two countries as well the Department of State Security Services and the National Youths Service Corps.
“The Ministry therefore wish to call on the General Public to support its efforts, show understanding and provide useful information that will assist the Committee in finding lasting solutions in order to prevent further occurrence.
“The Ministry has also commenced internal administrative processes to determine the culpability or otherwise of her staff for which applicable Public Service Rules would be applied.
“The issue of degree mills institutions, i.e institutions that exist on paper or operate in clandestine manner outside the control of regulators is a global problem that all countries grapple with. FME has been contending with the problem including illegal institutions located abroad or at home preying on unsuspecting, innocent Nigerians and some desperate Nigerians who deliberately patronize such outlets. Periodically, warnings have been issued by the Ministry and NUC against the resort to such institutions and in some instances, reports made to security agencies to clamp down on the perpetrators. The ministry will continue to review its strategy to plug any loopholes, processes and procedures and deal decisively with any conniving officials.”
In 2020, the NYSC said it would commence the prosecution of Nigerian graduates with fake credentials, especially from West African countries.
A former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed also in 2020 noted that certain Nigerians were purchasing fake degrees from degree mills in and out of Nigeria.
In September 2023, a newspaper exposed a certain London Graduate School selling fake honorary degrees to Nigerians.