The Federal Ministry of Education has said that more than 20 persons, who were parading fake foreign academic credentials in the country, were arrested in the last two years.
Mrs Justina Ibeh, the Director, Education Support Services in the Federal Ministry of Education, announced this in a presentation at the inauguration of National Standing Committee on Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications on Thursday in Abuja.
Ibeh said the culprits did not only forge foreign certificates but also forged the signature of ministry officials, among other related offences.
According to the director, the suspects were appropriately handed over to the Police for further investigation and prosecution.
She added that one the suspects was convicted and jailed for seven years.
The committee, according to her, would extensively deliberate on issues and concerns raised by concerned parties, and develop realistic implementation plans.
“The committee members will use their wealth of wisdom and experience to sanitise the system and restore credibility and public confidence,” the director said.
Before the inauguration of the committee, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, highlighted the terms of reference for members.
These include: dealing with the broad principles and setting criteria for evaluation of foreign certificates and diplomas.
“The committee is also charged with the responsibility of taking decisions on Nigerian equivalents of foreign qualifications, consider briefs on various educational systems and approve the Nigerian equivalents proposed by desk officers.
“It will also deliberate on challenges encountered by desk officers in the course of their day-to-day evaluation and also serve as an appellate body by considering representations from aggrieved persons,” Adamu said.
The minister also charged the committee to build on previous successes, particularly in areas of confirmation of the accreditation status of foreign institutions, issuance of mobilisation letters to graduates of foreign institutions that want to participate in the NYSC, authentication of certificates, issuance of no-objection and eligibility letters.