By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE federal government recently, disclosed that over 20 persons who were parading fake foreign academic credentials in the country were arrested in the last two years.
The government said the culprits did not only forge foreign certificates but also forged signature of ministry officials among other related offences.
The Director, Education Support Services, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Justina Ibeh, said this in a presentation she made at the inauguration of National Standing Committee on Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications in Abuja.
The said the suspects were appropriately handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution, adding 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, Ibeh said, would use their wealth of wisdom and experience to sanitize the system and restore credibility and public confidence.
Before the inauguration of the committee, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, highlighted the terms of reference for members, which include: dealing with the broad principles and setting criteria for evaluation of foreign certificates and diplomas.
The committee, he added, was 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 would 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.
He charged them to build on previous successes, particularly in areas of confirmation of the accreditation status of foreign institutions, issuance of mobilization letters to graduates of foreign institutions that want to participate in the NYSC, authentication of certificates, issuance of no-objection and eligibility letters.