The Nigerian government has ordered a crackdown on unapproved and illegal tertiary institutions across the country.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, gave the directive on Saturday at the fifth edition of the weekend ministerial press conference in Abuja.
He said the institutions are dragging down educational standards in Nigeria. “They have no admission quota, they run unaccredited courses with practically no standards, their products are half baked and unemployable,” he said.
“The proliferation of these illegal institutions has made the job of regulatory agencies in the sector very difficult. Such institutions also default in taxes. They do not keep to the rules of the game,” Mr Adamu said.
According to him, illegal tertiary institutions thrive was because they have no set standard for entry requirements. He said admissions into such institutions are available to anybody that can pay their fees.
” It is crucial to state that while some of the illegal providers are operating illegal institutions based in Nigeria, some are online in unapproved linkages and affiliations with substandard foreign institutions that have no accreditation or recognition of regulatory bodies either in Nigeria or their home countries,” the minister said.
According to him, the problems of insufficient access for the large pool of qualified candidates who sit for the yearly Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) organised by JAMB is also a problem.
He said the federal government through the National Universities Commission (NUC) has increased access to university education through increased licenses granted to established universities from the initial three in 1999 to 165 in 2019.
The minister said the Federal Executive Council in 2001 decided to ban satellite campuses, outreach or study centres in Nigeria due to substandard training, operational lapses and unethical practices associated with the centres.
He reiterated that the ban is still in force, while highlighting greed, fraud and endemic corruption in the society as some of the factors responsible for the recent upsurge in the number of illegal providers of tertiary institutions.
He called on regulatory agencies- (NUC), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to work with relevant security agencies to immediately crack down on all illegal tertiary institutions within their jurisdictions.
He said the promoters of these institutions should immediately be apprehended and prosecuted by security agencies.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the NUC released the list of 58 illegal universities in Nigeria in 2018.
The commission said the universities are yet to be licenced by the federal government and have been shut down for violating the national minimum standard for education.
Among the illegal universities are University of Industry, Yaba, Lagos or any of its other campuses, University of Applied Sciences and Management, Port Novo, Republic of Benin or any of its other campuses in Nigeria, Blacksmith University, Akwa or any of its other campuses, Volta University College, HO, Volta Region, Ghana or any of its other campuses in Nigeria, Royal University, Izhia, PO BOX 800, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State or any of its other campuses.
Meanwhile, NUC also confirmed that a senator, Foster Ogola’s Phd certificate is invalid; as the institution he attended is among the illegal universities.
An investigation revealed that the senator, currently representing Bayelsa West senatorial district, has fake credentials from an unaccredited university in Nigeria named GMF Christian university.
The NUC is a government agency promoting quality higher education in Nigeria.
The commission is saddled with the responsibility of granting approval for all academic programs run in Nigerian universities and granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions offering degree programs.