The federal government has set up a committee to investigate the activities of private universities established in the last 15 years.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman who spoke during the inauguration of the inter-ministerial committee on degree mills in the country, on Tuesday, January 9, said this would show if the private institutions under investigation have in the place prescribed facilities, adequate management structure, and adequate funding of programmes among others.

He also noted that the inter-ministerial committee set up to look into the activities of illegal universities will also examine, “the veracity of the allegations of degree certificate racketeering within both foreign and local private universities in Nigeria.

”The minister said: “Review the role of any MDA or its officials (including identifying such officials) in the facilitation of the recognition and procurement of the fake certificate in question;

“Review existing policies and procedures related to accreditation and certification to identify weaknesses contributing to the issue; examine the rules, procedures, and processes for recognition and accreditation of foreign universities and programmes by the Federal Ministry of Education.

“Establish if unapproved foreign institutions (Degree Mills) exist or not in Nigeria in whatever form with their identities and locations if any;

“Make appropriate recommendations for review of any rules, procedures, and processes to prevent re-occurrence and sanctions for identified erring officials;

“Make other recommendations that will strengthen the system of recognitions, accreditations, and quality assurance of degrees in Nigeria.

“Examine the extant rules, procedures, and processes for granting provisional licenses to new universities by the National Universities Commission.

“Examine the procedures and processes for periodic accreditation of programmes in the universities by the NUC and examine their effectiveness in quality assurance of the programmes;

“Without prejudice to the periodic accreditation exercise of the NUC, examine whether or not Private Universities established in the last 15 years have in the place prescribed facilities, appropriate management structure, adequate funding of programmes, requisite staff (nature of staff-full time, contract, adjunct, visiting, other types).

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