Nigerian students battle Houdegbe varsity over non-accreditation of programmes
Nigerian students studying at Houdegbe North American University, (HNAUB), Benin Republic, are currently at loggerheads with the school authority over certificates being awarded by the institution.
They accused the school management of awarding certificates in unaccredited
programmes, including Sociology and Mass communication.
The students said the development has hindered them from being gainfully employed in some Nigerian firms.
Narrating their ordeals, one of the affected students, Miss Soliat Damilola Bello who was admitted in 2011 and graduated in 2014, said when she enlisted into Nigerian Army Short Service with the certificate, she was denied the opportunity.
Bello said while undergoing training at the School of Infantry, Jaji, in 2020, Army authorities dismissed her on the ground that her course of study was not accredited for award of certificate in Sociology before 2019 and the degree programme is not approved by Ministry of Education in Benin Republic.
Upon discovery that the certificate was fake, Bello said the Army authorities seized it, while the school was categorised as an unauthorised institution.
But the request for verification of academic records of candidates sent to Nigerian Army by the university, a copy of which was sighted by The Guardian, confirmed Bello as a graduate of the school.
The letter, signed by the school’s registrar, Dr. Ogunliyi Agosu confirmed Bello as a graduate from the university with verification files.
The country’s ministry of education, in a letter signed by director, education support services, Dr L.I Giginna, said the university is on the list of accredited institutions in Benin Republic between 2012 to 2013, while the degree programme in sociology is an approved course of study in the university since 2012.
Bello said, “I was told that the ministry of education in Benin Republic didn’t accredit my course in 2014. I went back to my school to complain and he promised to address it, yet he hasn’t. Whenever I apply for jobs in Nigeria, they complained about the certificate. Most of the students that attended the school are from Nigeria. We were more than 60. Others students from departments like Mass Communication were also affected.”
Another affected student, Ojo Taiwo, speaking on some of the steps taken said they have met with the university management on several occasions to address the issue but no meaningful result.
President of the University, Prof. Dada Houdegbe refused to speak on the matter when The Guardian called him on phone, while he also declined to send documents concerning accreditation status of the programmes.