The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR, has enjoined the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) Committee on Degree Mills to submit reports of unapproved degree awarding institutions to the Commission for enforcement action.
The Chairman made this call when he played host to the NUC Committee on Degree Mills, led by their Chairman Prof. Enefiok Essien, SAN, when the latter paid a courtesy visit to the Commission’s headquarters recently.
Professor Owasanoye explained that given the fact that the country now thrives on superficiality of qualifications, a lot of people forge certificates of accredited institutions to get appointments in public establishment, saying that regrettably nobody was checking the trend.
“There is an epidemic of fake certification on our hands at the moment and if we don’t deal with it, we will never have the kind of human capital that is required to move the public service,” he pointed out.
Speaking against the backdrop of the upsurge of fake certificates in the Nigerian system, the ICPC boss declared that it was crucial for the Committee to submit lists of identified unapproved degree awarding institutions, their locations and contacts of the people involved to the Commission for further investigations and possible closure.
The Chairman further advised NUC to prevail on the ivory towers to digitalize their certificates and records for ease of verification.
Earlier in his remarks, the Committee chairman, Prof. Essien, explained that the joint labor force formed by NUC and ICPC has identified some degree mills, got the owners arrested but expressed worries that a lot of these degree mills have branches all over the country.
“The main reason we visited is to solicit for more enforcement support in other to clamp down more degree mills,” he stated.
It will be recalled that in a bid to investigate the upsurge on the proliferation of unapproved degree awarding institutions in Nigeria also known as Degree Mills, the Management Steering Committee (MSC) of the NUC at one of its meetings, considered and approved the resuscitation of the committee on illegal universities to curb the growing incidence of degree mills.
ICPC, had also in the past, closed down 67 such degree mills across the country.