Federal Government is launching a new crackdown on dozens of illegal higher institutions, including 66 universities and 68 polytechnics.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, made the remarks at a media conference in Abuja, where he provided the list of 66 illegal universities and 68 polytechnics, monotechnics and specialised technical and vocational institutions.
He said the proliferation of illegal higher institutions especially, universities, has become a source of embarrassment to the government and that although, the illegality of unauthorized universities in itself was enough reason for their closure, the root cause of their continuous resurgence was not far-fetched.
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.