Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed that no fewer than 20 persons were arrested between 2015 and 2017 for foreign certificate forgery, presentation of fake certificates, forgery of signature of ministry officials, and other related offences.
The suspects are said to been handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution, with one suspect having been convicted and jailed for seven years.
The information was contained in a presentation by the Director, Education Support Services, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Justina Ibeh, during the inauguration ceremony of the national standing committee on evaluation of foreign qualifications in Abuja on Monday.
She was confident that the committee would extensively deliberate on issues and concerns raised by concerned parties, and develop realistic implementation plans.
The committee, Ibeh said, would use their wealth of wisdom and experience to sanitize the system and restore credibility and public confidence.
Before the inauguration of the committee, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, highlighted the terms of reference for members, which include: dealing with the broad principles and setting criteria for evaluation of foreign certificates and diplomas.
The committee, he added, was also charged with the responsibility of taking decisions on Nigerian equivalents of foreign qualifications, consider briefs on various educational systems, and approve the Nigerian equivalents proposed by desk officers.
It would also deliberate on challenges encountered by desk officers in the course of their day-to-day evaluation, and also serve as an appellate body by considering representations from aggrieved persons.
The Minister charged them to build on previous successes, particularly in areas of confirmation of the accreditation status of foreign institutions, issuance of mobilization letters to graduates of foreign institutions that want to participate in the NYSC, authentication of certificates, issuance of no-objection and eligibility letters.