Cotonou Degree: ‘Security Agencies Will Track Persons With Fake Certificates’, Minister Declares

THE Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, on Tuesday, declared that security agencies will go after individuals with fake degree certificates in the country.

According to the minister, the individuals will be tracked after the committee inaugurated to investigate the activities of degree mills in the country submits its report.

The Federal Ministry of Education had earlier set up an investigative panel to probe activities of degree mills following an investigative report published by Daily Nigerian which exposed the activities of degree mills in Benin Republic.

The Daily Nigerian reporter, Umar Audu, revealed how he obtained a degree within six weeks and proceeded to embark on mandatory youth service under the National Youth Service Corps scheme.

Audu, who reached out to the syndicate that specialises in selling degree certificates in December 2022, “graduated” in February 2023 and was issued a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication certificate from the Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, Cotonou, Benin Republic.

The report, which exposed the illegalities perpetrated by some tertiary institutions in the West African countries, forced the Nigerian government to ban the accreditation and evaluation of degrees from Benin Republic and Togo.

The committee was also tasked with investigating private universities in the country that were established in the last 15 years.

Recently, the committee invited memoranda from the public. Selected members of the committee also visited institutions in the Benin Republic.

While speaking at the first quarterly citizens engagement in Abuja on Tuesday, Mamman said, “On the issue of the fake degrees, we set up a committee, and we expect them to submit their reports soon.

“Once the report is submitted, I can assure you that individuals with fake certificates will be apprehended. They will be tracked by security agencies.”

Also speaking at the engagement, the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Tanko Sununu, noted that the quarterly citizenship engagement was aimed at creating awareness on the activities of the ministry.

He noted that the engagement will, “also promote mutual understanding with stakeholders and citizens; build and sustain public trust; and improve transparency and accountability in the Sector.

“Worthy of mention is that this engagement also aims to improve efficiency and streamline government operations by identifying and addressing bottlenecks.

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