The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Monday disclosed that some Nigerian students are procuring Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degrees from fake higher institutions of learning in some African countries.
According to the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Professor Abubakar Rashid Adamu, such PH.Ds are awarded in less than one year of the programme.
Abubakar further disclosed that the NUC had found institutions where academic projects and thesis were on sale for N3000 per copy, adding that the commission is also worried about sexual harassment prevalent in universities.
Professor Adamu stated this when he led a delegation of the commission on a visit to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Abuja recently.
According to him, the influx of graduates with fake degrees from foreign institutions into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is another disturbing scenario for the commission, adding that fake institutions from Benin Republic and Uganda were now recruiting students from Nigeria.
“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 six 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 Ph.D degrees in six months”, Professor Abubakar said.
In his response, the Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, promised that the commission would partner with NUC to tackle the menace, stressing that it was fraudulent for people to parade fake degrees.
Owasanoye further said that ICPC was already handling about 12 cases of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions, adding that a conviction was recently secured against a professor in Obafemi Awolowo University.
The ICPC boss called on 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.
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