The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences
Commission (ICPC) has informed that it would begin a clamp down on
illegal degree-awarding institutions, as well as tackle the problem of
sexual harassment in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, explained in a statement that the
plan to tackle the problem of fake degrees and sexual harassment was
reached with the management of the National Universities Commission
(NUC) during a courtesy visit to ICPC’s headquarters, Abuja.
According to her, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar
Rashid Adamu, who led the delegation to ICPC, lamented that schools
that award higher degrees within six months and Doctor of Philosophy
(PhD) degrees in less than one year had become common in Nigeria.
He also said that NUC had found institutions where academic projects
and thesis were on sale for N3000 per copy, adding that another
disturbing scenario was the influx of graduates with fake degrees from
foreign institutions into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Professor Adamu also revealed that fake institutions from Benin
Republic and Uganda were now recruiting students from Nigeria.
According to him, “ICPC had re-enforced the belief in Nigeria that
corruption can be fought in a more civil and knowledge based manner.
You have helped us by weeding out fake degree mills in time past, we
need your assistance in tackling illegal universities in the name of
foreign universities with centres in Nigeria.
“We have them from Benin Republic, sometimes they award degrees in 6
months, while our degrees in Nigeria run for four years and above. We
also have a case of a university in Uganda which recruits only from
Nigeria and South Sudan. There are also universities from Ghana that
rent two-bedroom flats in Lagos and award PhD degrees in six months.”
While speaking, the chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, said
that the Commission would partner with NUC to tackle the menace,
stressing that it was fraudulent for people to parade fake degrees.
Owasanoye said that ICPC was already handling about 12 cases of sexual
harassments in tertiary institutions adding that a conviction was
recently secured against a professor in Obafemi Awolowo University.
He also urged NUC to help domesticate anti-corruption studies
developed by ICPC through its Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria
(ACAN) in tertiary institutions curriculum, which had already been
embedded in secondary school curriculum.