Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) says they will commence clamping down on illegal degree awarding institutions as well as tackle the problem of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.
The ICPC disclosed this during after receiving the management of the NUC to
its headquarters in Abuja. The commission expressed its concern for the problem of fake degrees and sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.
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 disclosed that NUC had found institutions where academic projects and thesis were on sale for N3000 per copy. He also that complained about an influx of graduates with fake degrees from foreign institutions into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He said: “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.”
Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, assured that the commission will partner with NUC to tackle the menace. He stressed that it is 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 (OAU).
He further urged the 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.