The Federal Government has launched a new crackdown on dozens of illegal higher institutions and their promoters.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, made the remarks at a media conference in Abuja, where he revealeded the list of 66 unlawful universities and 68 polytechnics, monotechnics and specialised technical and vocational institutions that were closed down.
He said the proliferation of illegal higher institutions especially, universities, has become a source of embarrassment to the government.
He stated that the phenomenon of illegal providers of tertiary education was more notorious in the university subsector than the polytechnic or college of education subsector adding that 66 illegal ‘degree mills have been identified’ by the National Universities Commission.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity to direct all regulatory agencies in the public education sector, namely, The National Universities Commission (NUC), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), to work with relevant security agencies to immediately crackdown hard on all illegal tertiary institutions within their jurisdictions. “Promoters of such institutions should immediately be apprehended and prosecuted. Let me warn those promoting illegal institutions that the days of treating promoters of such institutions with kid gloves are over. Anyone caught in the act will be severely punished,” he said.
He further said most of the unapproved higher institutions were usually manned by unqualified and unrecognized personnel and that while some of the illegal providers were operating illegal institutions based in Nigeria, some were on-line in unapproved linkages and affiliations with substandard foreign institutions that have no accreditation or recognition of regulatory bodies either in Nigeria or their home countries.
“They have no admission quota, they run unaccredited courses with practically no standards. Their products are half baked and unemployable,” he said.
According to him, some of the major factors responsible for the recent upsurge in the number of illegal providers of degree-awarding institutions were greed and endemic corruption as well as insufficient access for the large pool of qualified candidates that sit for the yearly Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations organised by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.