The Federal Government has directed the National Universities Commission, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), to work with security agencies and crackdown on all illegal tertiary institutions within their jurisdictions.
Government also directed that operators of such institutions be arrested and prosecuted, and has warned promoters of such illegal institutions that days of action with kid gloves are over.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, told journalists at the weekend, in Abuja, that proliferation of illegal tertiary institutions in Nigeria has become embarrassing to government, in addition to being a threat to the country’s education system.
He disclosed that government recently identified 66 illegal universities, 68 polytechnics and several Colleges of Education, with all sort of affiliations and has directed action against them.
Adamu said apart from the already identified illegal institutions, there are many unapproved and illegal institutions springing up daily in Nigeria, due to the quest for higher education certificates by Nigerians and inability of many students to secure admission into higher institutions of their choice.
The minister disclosed that some of the illegal institutions are physically based in Nigeria while some others operate on online platforms, in unapproved linkages and have affiliations with sub-standard foreign institutions that have no accreditation or recognition of regulatory bodies either in Nigeria or their home countries.
He confessed that the proliferation and activities of illegal tertiary institutions has made the job of regulatory agencies in the sector difficult, hence, the urgent rise to salvage Nigeria’s education system from collapse.
The minister was worried that the illegal institutions default in tax payment, violate rules of admission quota, course accreditation with practically no standards.
He said greed and endemic corruption, insufficient admission opportunities, and no set standards for entry requirements might have contributed to the thriving of the illegal tertiary institutions in Nigeria.