Why the Federal Government of Nigeria Suspended the Accreditation of Degree Certificates from Benin Republic and Togo
The Federal Government of Nigeria recently made a significant announcement through the Federal Ministry of Education, suspending the accreditation of degree certificates from Benin Republic and Togo.
This decision, effective from 2nd January 2024, stems from the government’s concerns about Nigerians using dubious methods to obtain degrees with the ultimate goal of securing job opportunities for which they lack qualification.
In a statement signed by Augustina Obilor-Duru, representing the Director of Press and Public Relations at the Federal Ministry of Education, the government expressed its dismay at the deployment of nefarious means by some Nigerians to acquire degrees.
The decision followed an investigative report by the Daily Nigerian Newspaper titled “How Daily Nigerian reporter bagged Cotonou varsity degree in 6 weeks.”
Reasons for Suspension
The suspension is to remain in effect pending the outcome of a comprehensive investigation involving the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education of Nigeria, the respective ministries of the two countries in question, and collaboration with the Department of State Security Services and the National Youths Service Corps.
Internally, the Ministry has initiated administrative processes to determine the culpability of its staff, and applicable Public Service Rules will be applied accordingly.
The issue of degree mills, institutions operating outside the control of regulators, is a global concern that the Federal Ministry of Education has been addressing.
The Ministry has consistently warned against resorting to such institutions and has collaborated with security agencies to combat them.
In the past, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) announced its intention to prosecute graduates with fake credentials, particularly from West African countries.
Additionally, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, highlighted the purchase of fake degrees by certain Nigerians from degree mills within and outside the country.
In a related development in September 2023, a newspaper exposed a London Graduate School selling fake honorary degrees to Nigerians, further emphasizing the pervasive nature of this issue.
In conclusion, the government’s decision to suspend the accreditation of degree certificates from Benin Republic and Togo underscores the seriousness with which it views the problem of degree mills.
This action aligns with ongoing efforts to combat illegal institutions, both within and outside the country. It is a global issue that requires collective action, and the Ministry calls on the public to support its efforts and provide valuable information to aid the ongoing investigations.
Why did the Federal Government suspend accreditation from Benin Republic and Togo?
The government expressed concerns about Nigerians obtaining degrees through nefarious means, jeopardizing the integrity of the accreditation process.
How long will the suspension be in effect?
The duration is contingent on the outcome of the ongoing investigation involving various ministries and security agencies.
What is the Ministry doing internally to address this issue?
The Ministry is conducting internal administrative processes to determine the culpability of its staff, applying applicable Public Service Rules.
Is this issue unique to Nigeria?
No, it is a global problem, and the Ministry emphasizes the need for collective action to combat degree mills.
What previous actions have been taken against illegal institutions?
The Ministry has consistently issued warnings and collaborated with security agencies to clamp down on illegal institutions, both within and outside Nigeria.