Lagos, Nigerian . Source: Ariyo Olasunkanmi/Shutterstock.
Lagos, Nigeria. Source: Ariyo Olasunkanmi/Shutterstock.

Graduates and students studying in Nigeria have been left without qualifications after a total of 58 universities were shut down by Nigerian authorities following concerns over the legitimacy of their practices.

Many of the institutions were headquartered abroad but were operated in Nigeria. After they failed to meet the minimum standards set out by the National Universities Commission (NUC), the organisation which approves universities and academic programmes, they were banned from working in any part of the country.

“For the avoidance of doubt, anybody who patronises or obtains any certificate from any of these illegal institutions does so at his or her own risk,” NUC Director of Information Ibrahim Yakassai told Business Daily Africa.

Law enforcement agencies have been informed and given the entire list of institutions which have been found to be inadequate and measures are being taken to prevent them from practicing in the country.

Yakassai stressed that NUC is being incredibly vigilant to ensure all illegal institutions operating in Nigeria are closed down.

Any certificate already obtained from any of the 58 illegal institutions will now lose its validity for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) – a scheme designed to rebuild the country after its civil war – or obtain employment or pursue further study based on their qualification from one of the blacklisted universities.

A Nigerian senator was among those to have had their qualification invalidated, NUC reported. The senator had a PhD certificate from one of the illegal institutions.

Education Minister Adamu Adamu claimed the federal government is dedicated to stamping out illegal universities operating in Nigeria.

He even went on to say Nigeria was unable to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set out for the country as the implementation of education programmes was not followed out sufficiently.

The institutions banned are based all over the world, many in Nigeria but also a large number from the UK and US including London External Studies, Tiu International University, International University, Missouri, and Columbus University. The full list can be accessed at Business Daily Africa.

It just shows, it always pays to be careful about choosing your university and ensuring the legitimacy of the institution and the course before devoting surplus time and money to it.

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