The assessment and accreditation of degree certificates from the Republic of Benin and the Togo Republic has been halted by the Federal Government.

This was said in a statement made on Tuesday in Abuja by Mrs. Augustina Obilor-Duru, the Ministry of Education’s assistant director for press.

This suspension resulted from a journalist’s investigative work that was published on December 30 in the Daily Nigerian Newspaper.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, a newspaper reporter named Mr. Umar Audu conducted an investigation headlined “UNDERCOVER: How DAILY NIGERIAN reporter bagged Cotonou varsity degree in six weeks, participated in NYSC scheme.”

However, according to Obilor-Duru, the suspension was pending while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the two nations awaited the conclusion of an investigation.

She claimed that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the Department of State Security Services (DSS), and the ministries in charge of education in the two nations would all be involved in the investigation.

She urged the public to help the efforts by demonstrating empathy and offering helpful information that would help in the search for long-term fixes to stop similar incidents from happening again.

“This 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 ministry has also commenced internal administrative processes to determine the culpability or otherwise of her staff for which applicable Public Service Rules would be applied.

“The issue of degree mills institutions, i.e. institutions that exist on paper or operate in a clandestine manner outside the control of regulators, is a global problem that all countries grapple with.

“The ministry has been contending with the problem including illegal institutions located abroad or at home preying on unsuspecting, innocent Nigerians and some desperate Nigerians who deliberately patronise such outlets,” she said.

She added that the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the government had given warnings against these kinds of institutions on occasion. In certain cases, reports had been made to security forces to take action against the offenders.

“The ministry will continue to review its strategy to plug any loopholes, processes and procedures and deal decisively with any conniving officials.

“The Ministry had always adopted the global standard for evaluation and accreditation of certificates of all forms, which relies on receipt of the list of accredited courses and schools in all countries of the world.

“The ministry wishes to assure Nigerians and the general public that it is already putting in place mechanisms to sanitise the education sector.

“This, including dissuading the quest for degree certificates (locally or from foreign countries) through a re-invigorated focus on inclusivity, reliance on all skill sets as directed by President Bola Tinubu,” she said.

However, she added, the ministry was dedicated to working with stakeholders and, like civil society organisations, to improve the Nigerian educational system continuously.

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