By Ngozi Oboh
Source: 234next News Online

University commission to intensify illegal degree mills war

University commission to intensify illegal degree mills war

War on illegal degree awarding institutions will be intensified until Nigeria is free from them, Julius Okojie, executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), has said.

Mr Okojie, who spoke to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja on his focus in the second term in office, having gotten a tenure extension from the federal government, said the commission will soon relaunch a massive attack on the illegal institutions.

He said the commission would soon carry out a massive raid on some illegal universities which exists in a particular part of the country which he did not disclose.

He added that the illegality boomed when satellite campuses were closed in Nigeria.

“There was a vacuum created when we closed down the satellite campuses,” he said. “People just collect money on Internet. How many people have graduated from there? When you harass them here they go somewhere else but we must not allow them to exist.”

Officials say there are about 52 degree-awarding institutions operating illegally in Nigeria at the expense of unsuspecting parents, guardians and children.

They are illegal because these degree mills have not been licensed by the federal government, and have therefore, been closed down for violating the Education (National Minimum Standards etc.) Act CAP E3 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

List of unaccredited schools

According to the NUC, some these institutions are Christians of Charity American University of Science & Technology, Nkpor, Anambra State (or any of its other campuses); University of Industry, Yaba, Lagos (or any of its other campuses); University of Applied Sciences & Management, Port Novo, Republic of Benin (or any of its other campuses in Nigerian); Blacksmith University, Awka (or any of its other campuses); Volta University College, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana (or any of its other campuses in Nigeria); Royal University Izhia, P.O. Box 800, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State (or any of its other campuses); Atlanta University, Ayingba, Kogi State (or any of its other campuses0; Sunday Adokpela University, Otada Adoka, Otukpo, Benue State (or any of its other campuses); United Christian University, Macotis Campus, Imo State (or any of its other campuses) and United Nigeria University College, Okija, Anambra State (or any of its other campuses) among others.

Mr Okojie, who thanked government on the renewal of his appointment, said he will ensure that national minimum standard in the sector will be put in place.

The extension of tenure of office, which was contained in a letter sent by the minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, is for the second and final five year term with effect from August 2, 2011.

According to the letter, the renewal of Professor Okojie’s appointment which ends this year’s August is in accordance with the NUC Act Cap N81, LFN 2004.

The minister said she expected the NUC executive secretary to continue to promote the reform of the education sector as a key member of her strategic team.

She disclosed that the condition of service for the renewal including remunerations and fringe benefits shall be as approved for chief executives of federal tertiary parastatals in Nigeria.