The federal government in Nigeria are checking the legitimacy of degrees obtained by students abroad. Source: Shutterstock.

Nigeria has set up a special committee to screen qualifications obtained by its students in institutions abroad, following concerns over their quality and relevance to the local education system and job market.

Education Minister Adamu Adamu announced the inauguration of the committee during the 33rd National Standing Committee (NSC) meeting on Monday in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, according to Nigerian publication The Cable.

He said the foreign qualifications’ suitability needed to go through stringent checks in order to determine Nigerian applicants’ suitability for further study or employment in Nigeria when they return home.

The NSC was first established by the federal government in 1974 following an influx of Nigerian students being sponsored to attend a number of Eastern European universities. When they returned to Nigeria, they brought with them numerous different degrees and diplomas the government had not seen before.

The minister also announced that significant progress has been made over the last six years toward confirming the accreditation status of foreign institutions.

Developments are also being made to determine the legitimacy of courses at some African universities which are not currently accredited, especially at institutions in Togo, Ghana, Cameron and the Republic of Benin.

“The processing of documents has been streamlined with relevant professional bodies for proper assessment of professional degrees,” Adamu said.

“There has been effective liaison with law enforcement agents as a result of which quacks and fraudsters have been checked.”

Currently, members of the committee are working together to build a list of criteria foreign degrees need to meet in order to be recognised in Nigeria.

In this, Adamu advised the committee keep in mind the Nigerian standard of education, as well as an understanding of the professionalism needed to work in Nigeria.

NSC is the highest decision-making body in Nigeria that deals with the evaluation of qualifications obtained outside of the country.

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