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FG launches committee to combat degree mills amidst growing concerns

Education Minister, Prof. Tahir Mamman, Initiates Inter-ministerial Effort to Tackle Illicit Practices in Higher Education

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In a decisive move to address the rising menace of degree mills, the Federal Ministry of Education, under the leadership of Minister Prof. Tahir Mamman, is set to establish an inter-ministerial committee. The initiative aims to combat the illicit activities of institutions issuing fraudulent degrees, a pervasive issue recently brought to light in an investigative report by Daily Nigerian newspaper journalist Umar Audu.

The announcement was made by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Ben Goong, who detailed that Prof. Tahir Mamman would inaugurate the committee this afternoon. The move comes in response to the investigative report that exposed the ease with which individuals could obtain degrees from institutions in the Benin Republic and Togo, with the report citing fraudulent practices and lax regulations.

Umar Audu’s report, which outlined the journalist’s personal experience obtaining a degree within six weeks, triggered heightened concerns about the authenticity of qualifications issued by certain institutions. The investigative piece prompted the Nigerian government to impose a ban on accrediting and evaluating degrees from the Benin Republic and Togo, affecting over 10,900 Nigerian students studying in these countries.

Minister Mamman, in response to the revelations, announced plans to extend the government’s scrutiny to institutions in other African countries, including Ghana. The move signals the government’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of higher education and protecting the interests of Nigerian students studying abroad.

The National Universities Commission also revealed that 18 out of the 58 universities facing suspension in Nigeria are foreign-owned. This development underscores the broader challenge of maintaining academic standards and combating fraudulent practices in both local and foreign institutions. The establishment of the inter-ministerial committee signifies a crucial step in addressing this complex issue and safeguarding the credibility of academic qualifications.

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