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Entertainers’ Degrees Under Scrutiny as Nigerian Government Suspends Accreditation from Benin Republic and Togo

Following an exposé by undercover journalist Umar Audu, revealing his acquisition of a degree from a university in Cotonou, Benin Republic, and subsequent undetected deployment to Cross Rivers State for the NYSC program, there has been a strong reaction among Nigerians. The federal government swiftly suspended the accreditation and evaluation of degree certificates from Benin Republic and Togo, expressing concerns about fraudulent practices.

The Ministry of Education spokesperson, Augustina Obilor-Duru, stated that the report supported suspicions of Nigerians using unscrupulous methods to obtain degrees for job opportunities. Effective from January 2, 2024, the government suspended the evaluation and accreditation of degree certificates from Benin and Togo pending an investigation involving relevant authorities from both countries.

Education Minister Tahir Mamman, appearing on Channels Television’s “Politics Today,” pledged to pursue individuals with fake foreign certificates used to secure employment in Nigeria. He labelled such individuals as criminals and emphasized the government’s commitment to extending the suspension to other countries, including Uganda, Kenya, and Niger Republic.

The decision comes after entertainers received degrees, including honorary doctorates, from various Benin Republic universities. Ayra Starr, Kaffy, Mike Ezuruonye, Alexx Ekubo, Peter Okoye, IK Ogbonna, Ireti Doyle, Bob Manuel Udokwu, and Pete Edochie were among those honoured, raising questions about the credibility of degrees awarded by institutions in the region.

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