The Nigerian House of Representatives has resolved to investigate allegations of corrupt practices in university accreditation exercises conducted by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The House resolved that its Committee on Tertiary Education and Services investigates the allegations.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Chinadu Onwuaso on Wednesday.
Mr Onwuaso said that the NUC has the mandate of conducting accreditation process, but raised concerns that there are allegations of extortion and blackmailing during on the spot assessment by NUC agents
“National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation system has been used, over the years, to maintain and monitor quality and high academic standards in Nigerian Universities and the NUC uses this process to evaluate academic programmes every five years.
“In the course of carrying out its mandate, the NUC Accreditation Teams undertake on the spot assessment of facilities, lecture halls, quality of academic content, laboratories among others to ensure that the universities meet up with the required” standards to run such academic programmes in order to determine whether to revoke, withhold or grant accreditation,”he said.
The lawmaker expressed concerns over “allegations of intimidation and extortion of huge sums of money from universities in order for their programmes to be accredited.
“We are worried that the alleged monetary demands for accreditation may have led to some universities increasing their tuition fees so as to meet up with the demands of the NUC Accreditation teams,” he stated.
The committee was given 6 weeks by the House to conduct the investigation and report back to the House for further legislative action.
EduCeleb.com reports that the NUC accredits universities and their various academic programmes while maintaining standards in the Nigerian university system. It also has the mandate to sanction erring institutions in the process by withdrawing or withholding their accreditation.