By Kuni Tyessi
Abuja — The federal government has ordered a crackdown on all illegal tertiary institutions in the country.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, gave the order in Abuja yesterday, blaming the increasing spate of illegal tertiary institutions within the country to uncontrollable population growth, which has become a source of embarrassment to the government.
According to him, other reasons are greed, fraud, endemic corruption, insufficient access to teeming qualified candidates and low entry standards.
The minister who stated this at the fifth edition of the weekend ministerial press briefing and with the theme “FG orders crack down on illegal tertiary institutions,” said the most disturbing of the trend is the production of half- baked graduates who end up being unemployable.
Lamenting that such institutions have made the jobs of regulatory bodies difficult, he said such institutions don’t pay taxes, neither do they keep to the rules of the game or have admission quota and accredited courses.
He said: “The unprecedented population growth in our society makes it not unexpected that education seekers would look for outlets should there be any delay by government in establishing enough schools to keep pace with the educational demands of the populace.
“Four major factors are responsible for the recent upsurge in the number of illegal providers of degree awarding institutions. First is greed, fraud and endemic corruption in our society.
“Secondly, there exist the problems of insufficient access for the large pool of qualified candidates that sit for the yearly Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations organised by JAMB. However, the existing admission spaces in the universities might not have matched with the number of qualified candidates.
“Thirdly, it has been discovered that a major factor that makes the illegal universities thrive is that they have set standards for entry requirements. Admission into such outfits is available to anybody that can pay their fees.”
He said the phenomenon of illegal providers of tertiary education is more notorious in the university sub-sector if tertiary education than the polytechnic or college of education subsector which to this end, over 66 illegal degree mills have been identified.
Furthermore, he said while some of the illegal providers are operating illegal institutions based in Nigeria, some are online in unapproved linkages and affiliations with substandard foreign institutions that have no accreditation or recognition of regulatory bodies either in Nigeria or their home countries.