Nigeria News: When Illegal Universities Become Candidates’ Choice

Nigeria News takes a look at the growing rate of establishment of sub-standard universities in Nigeria.

The number of private universities is growing in Nigeria, most of them faith-based institutions. They have solved the varsity admission challenges for certain sets of candidates.

To be a student in Nigeria’s private university, you must have got the capital. The tuition is high and unaffordable to the children of poor people.

But none, except Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, owned by Faith Tabernacle has ranked among the best 10 universities in the country.

Some of them are not even ranked. They are colourless without quality and class.

Of course, the private varsities have their advantages, unlike some graduates of public universities, most private school graduates are not public shy, perhaps because of their exposure beyond the wall of the college. 

They radiate confidence and this has given them an edge at various job interviews over public school graduates.

However, the graduates of government universities are tougher, more sociable and adaptable in the labour market.

The country has allowed the growth of private universities but with poor regulation and this in a short time to come will blow up the population of semi-illiterates in the country.

A few days ago, the National Universities Commission, NUC raised the alarm over the proliferation of fake universities in the country.

According to the commission, there are 58 fake universities across the country at present. They have not been licensed, yet they operate. NUC said that these universities awarded degrees and are on the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB list of universities.

Invariably, certificates from these set of universities should not be recognized as NUC intensifies effort to shut them.

There are millions of Nigerians seeking varsity admission yearly but with little space for them at the public universities. And for those who do not have the financial muscle to enrol in quality private varsities, they seek solace in sub-standard universities to earn a “Degree”.

According to findings, some of the illegal universities had been given licenses to operate long before now but lacked the finances to start.

It was also learnt that there were some who had been legalized but lacked the necessary resources to accredit many of their programmes.

They run programmes that were not accredited by the National Universities Commission, a source said.

But to some of the students of these illegal varsities, the NUC’s decision to stop their education would not be welcomed. “We will resist the NUC from closing our schools,” a student (Names withheld) said.

She lamented that she had written Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination four times and scored above 250 three times but was never given admission by all the universities she applied to.

“I’m in my final year now. I am studying Computer Science and God will not allow NUC to stop me. I have suffered enough in Nigeria. Only the children of the rich get a better education,” she said.

Speaking to our correspondent on a telephone, a lecturer in one of the illegal varsities who identified himself as Dr Rufus denied the allegation that the institution is illegal.

He said, “We have been operating for some years now and JAMB recognizes us. Our graduates are doing well outside. Many of them are entrepreneurs. This is what Nigeria needs now, institutions that can build future entrepreneurs. We are not an illegal university.”

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