FG suspends evaluation, accreditation of degree certificates from Benin, Togo

COVERFG suspends evaluation, accreditation of degree certificates from Benin, Togo

THE Federal Government has suspended the accreditation and evaluation of degree certificates from the Benin Republic and Togo.

A statement on Tuesday, January 2, by the Federal Ministry of Education spokesperson, Augustina Obilor-Duru, revealed that the government expressed concern over Nigerians resorting to unethical tactics to obtain degrees to secure job opportunities they aren’t qualified for.

The suspension followed a report by an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, which exposed how a Cotonou-based university issued a degree certificate to an undercover journalist within six weeks.

The online newspaper revealed how beneficiaries of these substandard certificates compete for jobs and other opportunities with hard-working graduates who undergo academic rigours for at least four years to obtain their degrees.

It also reported that the requirements for the fake degree are O-level certificates – fake or genuine – and money, which vary depending on the course, urgency and class of degree.

Having met with an agent, the reporter obtained the certificate and transcript of Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, ESGT, Cotonou, Benin Republic, on February 17, 2023.

This was after the reporter paid the required amount, including tuition fees for the duration.

Reacting to the report, the Ministry stated that the “report lends credence to suspicions 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.

“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 Services (DSS), and the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC),” the statement added.

It also noted that it had been dealing with the issue involving illegal institutions abroad and at home, taking advantage of unsuspecting Nigerians and some desperate individuals deliberately patronising such establishments.

The ministry, therefore, called on Nigerians to provide information to help the committee as it seeks lasting solutions to prevent future occurrences.

“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 conniving officials,” it added.

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