The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said on Tuesday that security agencies will go after individuals with fake university certificates in the country.

According to the minister, the individuals will be tracked after the presentation of the report of the committee created by the Federal Government to investigate the activities of university certificate fraudsters in the country.

The Federal Government has set up an Inter-Ministerial Investigative Committee on degree certificate milling to investigate the activities of certificate criminals following an investigative report published by the Daily Nigerian that exposed the activities of diploma mills in the Republic of Benin.

Daily Nigerian reporter, Umar Audu, revealed how he obtained a degree in six weeks and even began embarking on mandatory youth service under the National Youth Service Corps scheme in Nigeria.

The investigation report, which exposed illegalities perpetrated by some tertiary institutions in West African countries, led the Nigerian government to ban the accreditation and evaluation of degrees from the Republic of Benin and Togo.

The committee set up by the Federal Government was also tasked with investigating private Nigerian universities established in the last 15 years.

Checks by The PUNCH showed that no less than 107 private universities were established in the last 15 years.

Recently, the committee invited memos from the public. Selected members of the committee also visited institutions in the Republic of Benin.

While speaking at the first quarterly citizens’ meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Education, Mamman, said: “On the issue of fake diplomas, we have set up a committee and we expect them to submit their reports soon. Once the report is filed, I can guarantee that individuals with fake certificates will be detained. They will be tracked by security agencies.”

Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Tanko Sununu, noted that the quarterly citizen engagement was aimed at creating awareness about the activities of the ministry.

He noted that engagement “would also promote mutual understanding with stakeholders and citizens, build and maintain public trust, and improve transparency and accountability in the sector.”

“Of note is that this commitment also aims to improve efficiency and streamline government operations by identifying and resolving bottlenecks,” Sununu said.