The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) have agreed to curb the proliferation of illegal Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres and institutions across the country.
The agreement was reached recently when the leadership of NBTE led by its Executive Secretary, Professor Idris Magaji, paid a courtesy visit to ICPC Headquarters.
The ICPC Boss, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) while responding to the request of NBTE expressed the Commission’s readiness to intervene, promising that proper measures would be taken to curb the rise of illegal TVET campuses in Nigeria.
“As you are probably aware, we do have some platforms of collaboration in the education sector. We will be glad to do what we can with NBTE to curb this malady, which is the proliferation of these outreach centres and the illegal TVET institutions.” he promised.
The ICPC Chairman urged the Board to create more awareness of its activities so that the public would not be misled into falling victims of the “dubious” certificates.
“The public is being misled and I think your Board is in the best position to clarify this issue either by a public statement or by putting something on your website. It is certainly critical that something is done so that everybody will be well guided”, Prof. Owasanoye advised.
Earlier in his address, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, Professor Idris Magaji, informed that 12 of such illegal institutions have been identified adding that despite writing to them, they neither complied nor took the NBTE seriously hence the need to involve the ICPC for its intervention.
“At the moment we have recorded about twelve and we have given them letters to close shop. They have neither the approval of the supervisory and regulatory body, which is the NBTE, or any other agency of government. They have been admitting students outside the JAMB system and illegally collecting fees from students. They are not offering even the required training and they are issuing certificates anyhow. This is going to destroy the TVET sector.
“They do not take us very seriously because we are people in mufti but if they hear even the name of ICPC, the fear of ICPC is the beginning of wisdom in this country. That is why we feel we need to come seek this close collaboration with the ICPC,” the NBTE boss said.
Professor Magaji recalled the role played by ICPC when he was Rector of Kaduna State Polytechnic in 2018 where the Commission intervened while he was being pressured (to offer a bribe) at the National Assembly before the Institution’s budget would be approved.
“Before I moved to NBTE last year, I was the Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic and I remember, towards the end of 2018, how ICPC assisted us. Till I finished my Rectorship, nobody asked me to bring money before my budget was cleared. Even now that I am in NBTE, nobody has asked me to bring money before our budget is cleared, the same thing happened to some of the Rectors after me but unfortunately, I learnt some of the Rectors have returned to the old practice and I hope the ICPC would do something about it.
He also informed that the NBTE was exploring administrative solutions to some ‘illegalities’ being carried out by approved institutions issuing National Innovation Diploma Certificates, not recognised into the scheme of service.