Heritage Reporter

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Reps to probe Nigerian students’ certificate racketeering

The act of certificate racketeering by Nigerian students in collusion with some officials of the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies MDAs of the Federal Government are to be investigated by the House of Representatives.

 

The House on Wednesday mandated its Committees on University Education, Federal Polytechnics, Higher Education, Youth Development, Interior, Foreign Affairs to investigate the fraud.

The House also recommended that the necessary reviews, amendments, or repeals of laws, policies, rules, protocols, or procedures be adopted for obtaining licenses, admissions, international passports, screening and authentication of results or certificates, and ensuring proper documentation before participating in the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC Scheme.

The lawmakers while condemning in its entirety the act also resolved to identify officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and other persons involved, identify the students that have benefited from such institutions and their campuses in Nigeria in the last 10 years.

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the Need to investigate the allegations of Certificate Racketeering by Nigerian students in collusion with some officials from various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria moved by Hon. Abubakar Hassan Fulata at plenary session.

The Lawmaker noted that in the last two months, the Country had been plagued by a scandal involving Umar Audu, a journalist who went undercover to investigate a booming business, where he obtained a Certificate and transcript from the Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, ESGT, Cotonou, Benin Republic Cotonou, and participated in the NYSC scheme within a month.

He further noted that according to the journalist, it was craftily achieved with the active involvement and connivance of government officials in the Federal Ministry of Education, the Nigerian Immigration Service, and the National Youth Service Corps.

He recalled that the journalist recounted his experience where the agent gave the option of studying either for a year or a month, but he opted for the one-month option, in which he obtained a certificate and transcript without attending lectures at the said University or leaving Nigeria.

According to him “The Federal Ministry of Education authenticates all the Certificates obtained abroad before allowing participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)”

He disclosed that Officials of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) ensure due process and compliance at all levels with national and international protocols, processes, and rules before, during, and after obtaining any certificates.

According to him, “There are MDAs charged with the responsibilities of ensuring the smooth and seamless processes of each candidate studying within or outside the country, such as verifying the genuineness of institutions, courses, and authentication of certificates, which are the responsibilities of the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission, while the issuance of international passports vested in the Nigerian Immigration Service, processing of visas; and issuance of note-verbal vested in the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the mandatory one-year national service by the National Youth Service Corps, amongst others.

He raised a concern that over the years, foreign institutions have graduated Nigerians in different fields of human endeavours, including medical doctors, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, lecturers, and workers in the public and private sectors rendering myriad services.

According to him, “The recent development has not only put a question mark on the quality of the certificates and capacity of graduates from these universities but has also tarnished the image of the country’s educational system.

“Failure to identify and prosecute institutions involved in certificate racketeering, their masterminds, and students could harm Nigeria’s socio-political and economic development, encouraging patronage and posing a threat to the country’s development”.

The motion was unanimously supported by other members when it was put into voice vote by the Speaker Hon Tajudeen Abbas.

 

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