Undercover investigation reporter Umar Audu with a degree for a four-year program from a Benin university in under two months. Credit: IDN-INPS - Photo: 2024

Investigation Uncovers Fake College Degrees from Uganda, Kenya

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK | 9 January 2024 (IDN) — Nigeria’s National Universities Commission (NUC) claims they have uncovered dozens of fake college degrees for Nigerian students from Kenya and Uganda.

This finding follows the recent suspension of accreditation for degrees obtained from institutions in Benin and Togo.

During an interview on Nigeria’s Channels Television channel, Education Minister Tahir Mamman declared: “We are not going to stop at just Benin and Togo. We’re going to extend the dragnet to Uganda, Kenya, even Nigeria here where such fake institutions have been set up.”

This move is a response to the revelation of fraudulent qualifications from foreign degree mills, as exposed by the Daily Nigerian newspaper. In an undercover investigation, reporter Umar Audu detailed how he acquired a degree for a four-year program from a Benin university in under two months.

“I have no sympathy for those with fake certificates from foreign countries,” said Mamman. “They are not victims but part of the criminal chain that should be arrested.”

The Federal government has been urged to fish out those occupying top management offices with fake university degrees and other certificates.

According to former NUC Secretary, Francophone West Africa nations have been benefiting by offering dubious degrees to Nigerians.

Holders of fake degrees were party responsible for the nation’s backwardness, said Alhaji Musa Saidu of the Human Rights Commission.

Elsewhere in Nigeria, a corruption watchdog raided the offices of Dangote Industries Limited last month, carting away documents from the main office.

The raid was carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a corruption watchdog. The Dangote Group is the company led by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. He accused the EFCC of seeking to cause “unwarranted embarrassment” in a probe into favorable exchange rates handed out by the country’s former central bank chief, according to the Financial Times.

The Dangote Group has interests in cement, sugar, salt and flour. They said they were not aware of any accusations of wrongdoing against any company under their umbrella.

Dangote’s Group is one of 52 companies to receive letters from the anti-corruption agency seeking documents since 2014. Mr. Dangote is worth an estimated $10.5 billion but may have fallen out of favor with the current administration.

The raid was the latest salvo in a widening probe into former central bank governor Godwin Emefield who has been accused of fraud and mismanagement of billions of nairas.

Regarded as one of the most powerful government officials in Nigeria when he led the bank, Emefiele’s nine years of overseeing Nigeria’s monetary policy affairs was ended by Nigeria’s new president, Bola Tinubu, shortly after he took office in May.

Emefiele is accused of operating a highly contentious multiple exchange rate regime that a special investigator appointed by Nigeria’s president alleges enabled the bank to disburse scarce foreign exchange reserves at an artificially low rate to favored industries and individuals.

Meanwhile, Chidi Odinkalu of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University was quoted by the Financial Times to say that he doubted the investigation into the central bank suggested an era of better government under Tinubu. On the contrary, he suggested, the president has spent large sums of money supplying legislators with four-wheel drive vehicles costing up to $150,000 each.

“Rather than reduce the cost of administration,” he said, “they’ve bloated it. [IDN-InDepthNews]

Collage: Undercover investigation reporter Umar Audu with a degree for a four-year program from a Benin university in under two months. Credit: IDN-INPS

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.

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