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Government orders clampdown on illegal tertiary institutions

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[FILE PHOTO] Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education

Sequel to the discovery of 66 illegal degree-awarding institutions by the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Federal Government yesterday ordered immediate clampdown on all affected establishments.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who handed down the order at the fifth ministerial press briefing in Abuja, stated that government would not sit back while lawlessness overruns the sector.

He threatened that the promoters of the institutions would be immediately apprehended and prosecuted.

“Let me warn that the era of treating those promoting illegal institutions with kid gloves is over,” the minister said.

Adamu noted that the existence of unlawful study centres poses serious threat to the society as well as national development and security.

He maintained that their certificates remain invalid for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), employment and further studies.

According to him, “the continuous proliferation of illegal universities in Nigeria has become a source of embarrassment to the government of the nation.”

The minister regretted that their existence in droves had encumbered the job of regulatory agencies, even as they default in tax payment.

“They have no admission quota, they run unaccredited courses with practically no standards. The products are half-baked and unemployable,” he added.

Adamu clarified that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2001 outlawed satellite campuses and study centres nationwide on account of substandard training, operational lapses and unethical practices associated with them.

He wondered while people still cut corners and engage in illegality when accreditation of tertiary institutions had already been streamlined.

Meanwhile, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has absolved the minister of any wrongdoing in the removal of its erstwhile executive secretary, Dr. Abdulahi Bichi Baffa.

In a statement yesterday, the chairman of the board of trustees, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, punctured Baffa’s gratification claims, adding that the ousted chief executive never notified them of any interference.

He affirmed that it was the prerogative of the president to appoint the agency’s boss under the law.

Nwajiuba stated that Baffa’s disengagement was to halt the violation of extant regulations, as they relate to involvement of public servants in partisan politics.

The BoT chair explained that the sack was informed by the victim’s alleged participation in partisan politics.

According to him, the board observed procedural defects in some actions of the sacked executive secretary at its meeting of January 15, 2019 and were brought to the notice of the minister.

Besides, the National Union of Bauchi State Students (NUBASS) has applauded the reinstatement of Professor Suleiman Bogoro as the organisation’s chief executive. It said the move clears him of the high-handedness allegations that led to his removal from office in 2016.

NUBASS president, Comrade Ibrahim Hashim Abdullahi, told reporters yesterday in Bauchi during a solidarity rally that with Bogoro’s return, more intervention programmes would be replicated in the nation’s institutions of higher learning.


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