Fake Certificate: Benin Republic Lecturers Pledge To Cooperate With FG

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The Nigerian lecturers in Benin Republic have expressed strong support for the Nigerian government on the ongoing investigations into the alleged fraudulent means by which Nigerian students obtained degree certificates from the universities in Benin and Togo Republics.

The Federal Government is carrying out the investigations sequel to a recent undercover report by a Nigerian journalist, who exposed fraudulent and shady practices in universities in the two countries to issue illegal degree certificates for Nigerian students, who are ready to pay huge amounts of money for such shady deals.

The reporter, however, personally dabbled into the “illicit venture” and obtained a degree certificate within six weeks from a Benionise university after paying the money requested.

The President of the Nigerian Lecturers in Benin Republic, Gabriel Kona, at a news conference in Lagos at the weekend, said the action of the government temporarily banning the degree certificates from the two Francophone countries even though is in order and in the best interest of genuine students, the move has also put these genuine students into confusion and worries.

According to him, Nigerian students in various universities in Benin Republic alone are up to 15,000 and they are there as legitimate students.

Kona explained that the students secured their admissions legitimately went to classes to receive lectures and also engaged in other lawful activities expected of them as students.

He said university admissions, studies, and certificate processing in the Benin Republic, for example, are rigorous and meet international standards.

“So, it is not all Nigerian students in Benin Republic and Togo that buy certificates and we believe strongly that it can’t be all universities there that are selling certificates.

“We know for sure that most of the students from Nigeria in the two countries are legitimate students, seeking knowledge.

“They go through the rigorous admission process and also study to acquire their certificates.

“They spend three, four, or more years depending on whether they gained admission as regular or direct entry students.

“It is not that to obtain certificates from the two countries is as cheap as the undercover reporter painted it for all Nigerian students in the two countries.”

Speaking further, Kona with other exco members of their association in attendance, pointed out that even though there is a need for re-assessment of certificates from those two countries, it is equally important that the government should be thorough, transparent, and holistic in its assessment.

According to him, a blanket suspension of certificates from Benin and Togo republics can strain the age-long diplomatic and educational relations between Nigeria and the two countries.

He said the majority of Nigerian lecturers in the Benin Republic are products of the Nigerian university system and are cooperative and performing their roles according to the law guiding their employment.

The group, therefore, urged all the affected students and their parents to remain calm and be positive about the matter, noting that they have full confidence in the ministries of education of Nigeria and Benin that the temporary setback will be resolved soonest and amicably.

They also implored the public to desist from spreading untrue stories about Benin and Togo, by generalising the fraudulent practice to the entire university system in both countries.

Tribune Online

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