The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Benin Republic, has called for leniency over the ban on validation of degree certificates from the country and Togo, saying 15,000 Nigerian students are in Benin.
A reporter detailed how he bagged a degree in under two months from a university in the Benin Republic and even enrolled in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the second time.
In the wake of the development, the Federal Government banned the validation of degree certificates from the countries.
But on Thursday, the NANS president of Benin Republic Ugochukwu Favour said the government should consider legitimately admitted students.
“For now, I will say that the Federal Government should look into the issue. Now, you can’t because it is happening in this school, punish everyone because it involved close to 15,000 students in the Benin Republic,” he said on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily.
According to him, the government should step up efforts to probe the matter and punish those involved in the saga.
But he said NANS in the Benin Republic has constituted a committee to probe the matter, expressing confidence that the report of its findings will be vital in curbing future occurrences.
“I have not validated if it has been happening for a long time. This is just like what just came out on social media and we are still trying to find out how long it has been happening,” the NANS president said. “So, that is why I set up a committee as the president to investigate it.”
‘Go After Them’
His comment came hours after the Federal Government said it would go after Nigerians with fake degree certificates.
“I have no sympathy for such people. Instead, they are part of the criminal chain that should be arrested,” Education Minister Tahir Mamman said on Wednesday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“If along the line, we can trace that there are people already in the system. For instance, if a particular institution or operator has been operating, say in the last 10 years, we will check if we can get records of Nigerians who attended that institution.
“Once we do that, they are criminals and you know there is no timeframe to criminality. We will trace them. As long as we can lay our hands on their institutions and they are right here with us, certainly, the security agencies will go after them because they are criminals.”
While the accreditation and evaluation of degree certificates from the Benin Republic and Togo were affected by the initial ban, the minister said the move would be extended to other African countries.
“We are going to extend the dragnet to countries like Uganda, Kenya, even Niger [Republic] here where such institutions have been set up,” he said.